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(Prom a sketch by Col. Woodthorpe) 



With Some Notes on Neighbouring Tribes 



C.I.E., M.A. 

(Jndian Civil Service) 


Published by direction of the Assam Administration 





The late Mr, S. E. Peal, in his “ Fading Histories,” 
lamented the delay in the, study of the Naga tribes, and the 
consequent loss of much material out of which their past 
histories might have been recovered. He points out the 
remarkable rapidity with which they are changing and 
indeed have already changed. He urges the “ unearthing 
of some local history from these people ere it has faded 
for ever,” and the careful study of the Naga tribes before 
they are reformed and hopelessly sophisticated.” But if 
the Eastern Nagas of whom Mr. Peal was thinking have 
changed much in recent years the Western Nagas have 
changed far more. It is barely forty years since Captain 
Butler wrote, but many customs of the Angamis at war 
which he records are almost or entirely forgotten by the 
sons of those from whom he learnt them. With the Aos 
and Lhotas matters have gone even further. Old beliefs 
and customs are dying, the old traditions are being forgotten, 
the number of Christians or quasi-Christians is steadily 
increasing, and the spirit of change is invading and pervading 
every aspect of village life. All this must be the excuse 
for a mere amateur’s venturing to undertake a monograph 
on the Angamis. It is work which should be done by a 
trained anthropologist, but though occasional German and 
American scientists have paid hurried visits to the Naga 
Hills, the anthropologists of Great Britain have consistently 
passed them by on the other side. 

Their opportunity, however, is not entirely gone, for there 
are still across the frontier happy tribes, which have not yet 
touched pitch and become civilised like their administered 
brothers ; which pay no house-tax, and do no reluctant 




coolie work ; which know not the seed of conversion and the 
sword of dissension which missionaries bring, nor have yet 
been made to eat of that forbidden fruit which drove our 
first parents into fig-leaves and banishment. The diseases 
which follow like the jackals in the wake of invasion have 
not yet touched thorn, and they go clothed on with modesty 
rather than with “ dhutis.” No paternal (government 
forbids them the taking of heads or their fittest to survive, 
and no profane hand is raised against their customs of 
primaeval antiquity. “ 0 fortunatos — sua si bona norint,” 
which some of them by this time undoubtedly do. 

I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my 
obligation to all those who have helped me ; to Colonel 
Gordon for valuable advice ; to Mr. Balfour of the Pitt-Rivers 
Museum, Mr. Barnes, Colonel Woods, Mr. Reid, and Dr. 
Rivenburg for some valuable bints ; to (Uolonel Shakespear, 
formerly Political Agent in Manipur, for his very ample 
notes on the Memi which I have reproduced as an appendix ; 
to Professor Dixon of Harvard for letting me have the use 
of anthropometrical data and photographs taken by him 
in the Naga Hills ; to Miss Poynter, of the Oxford Natural 
History Society, for very kindly arranging for the preparation 
of my manuscripts for the press. I should also like to 
acknowledge my indebtedness to some manuscript notes of 
Colonel Kennedy’s on the Memi ; to the fourth edition of 
Notes and Queries on Anthropology, edited by Miss Preire- 
Marreco and Professor Myres ; and to Dr. Rivers’ 
pamphlet on the Genealogical Method. The arrangement 
of this monograph follows in general the syllabus laid down 
by the Assam Administration, and is not my own. 

In particular my thanks are due to those Angamis and 
other Nagas who have given me very much help in the 
collection of my information, among whom I would mention 
Hrichale Pienyunuo, and the interpreters Zelucha, Srisalhu, 
Vidilhu, Kruzeto, Thepfuvitse, Vise, Tahemo, and Nihu, 
all of the Deputy-Commissioner’s staff, and for other tribes 
Ongli-Ngaku, Vikhepu, Inato, Chamiimo, Etsizao, and 
Innamiran, interpreters of the Mokokchung Subdivision. 
For the original typing of a somewhat obscure and involved 



manuscript my thanks are partly due to Rai Sahib Sitanath 
Barbara and l^bu Hemakanta Barthakur, but the first five 
parts were almost entirely typed by an Angami, Visanyu 
Lizechu of Kohima, to whom I am obliged for the correction 
of a number of inaccuracies, and whose necessary perusal 
of my work is in some sort a safeguard against mistakes, 
if not of omission, at any rate of commission. 

Many of the stories in Part V have already appeared in a 
slightly altered form in “ Folklore,” and I am indebted to the 
courtesy of the Folklore Society for their republication here, 
though I have given them here in the original form in which 
I recorded them, as the alterations were not mine. I have 
also taken advantage of the valuable notes which appeared 
appended to the stories in the same journal. Part VI 
consists principally of verbatim extracts from Sir George 
Grierson {TAnguistic Survey of India, Vol. III., Pt. 2) and 
McCabe {Outline. Orammar of Angami Naga), as it would 
be an impertinence on my part to attempt any original 
treatment of the language. In this connection Sir George 
Grierson, while kindly giving permission to use his material, 
writes that he would be sorry if he “ got all the credit for 
others’ work,” and asks that it should be made clear that 
his account of Angami is mainly based on McCabe’s Grammar 
and that he was indebted to Mr. Davis for additions and 

Of the illustrations, those from coloured originals are 
from sketches by the late Colonel Woodthorpe, which were 
kindly lent me by the Curator of the Pitt-Rivers Museum, 
Oxford, while of the photographs a few are by Captain 
Hensley, Professor Dixon, Mr. Barnes, and Mr. Shuttleworth, 
and some of the best are by Mr. Butler of the P.W.D., 
to whom I owe many thanks. I also acknowledge my 
indebtedness to the Royal Anthropological Institute for 
permission to reproduce an illustration from Colonel Wood- 
thorpe’s article in 1881. The remainder of the illustrations 
are from photographs of my own. 

Specimens of a considerable number of the objects 
described in this monograph will be found in the Pitt-Rivers 
Museum at Oxford, and a glossary of common native terms 



(other than Naga) used in the monograph trill be found in 
the Appendix. For the Index I am again indebted to 
Colonel J. Shakespear. 

I would add that the monograph was originally intended 
for publication in 1916, but was postponed owing to the war. 
Hence some items of additional information in footnotes 
which might be expected in the text proper. 

J. H. H. 




Introductory — ^The Naga Hills — ^The Angamis : Habitat, 
affinities, appearance, dress and ornaments, weapons, 



The Angami village : Name, site, approaches and features 
— The house : construction, contents — Manufactures, 
agriculture, livestock, hunting and fishing, food, 
drink, medicines, etc. — Games — Daily life . 



Tribal organisation : the exogamous system — Adoption — 
Pedigrees — Inheritance — ^Land — ^Decision of disputes 
— ^War and head-hunting — Position of women . 



Religious beliefs, cult, worship, hierarchy—Genna, kenna, 
penna, nanii — Ceremonies attending episodes in the 
life of the individual, birth, naming, marriage, death — 
Magic and witchcraft — Omens, divination, dreams . 





Angami superstitions, traditions, legends, “ contes ” — 

Songs 249 



Signs and signals — ^The Angami language — ^Kezami, Memi 

— ^Naga<Assamese 289 


I. Bibliography. II. Notes on the Memi. III. Notes on 
Non-Angami Tribes of the Naga Hills. IV. Of 
Totemism. V. Of the Family. VI. Rain-making 
Gennas. VII. Of Celts and Stones in General. 

VIII. Astronomical. IX. Orientation of the Dead 
and of Houses. X. Angami (Tengima) Clans. XI. 
Anthropometrical. XII. Glossary ... . 331 





BY Col. Woodthobpb) Frmitispiece 

Fating page 

View from Losaha 5 

Jafro Moghtain 16 

Mist in the Hills 16 

The Kezakenoma Stone 10 

Chaerima Angahi 26 

Angam Girls 27 

Tenghia Angauis 29 

Tbats^ 30 

Young Men in Ceremonial Dress 31 

Naga Sfeabs 34 

Dotsole of Cbedema 36 

Sketches by Col. Woobthoefe 41 

Vulaoe Gates 44 

Stone FoRxiFiOAnoNB 46 

Stone Look-otjt Place 46 

Field Eest House 46 

Terracino and Bridge 46 

Warrior’s Mtsmortat. 47 

Angami Bridge 47 




Anoami Bbidge 


. 48 

Wooden SmiNG Place 


Stone Setting Ciecle 


Stones at Chekeokejima .... 


Angami House 


Kemovo’s House 


Houses of Rich Men 


Household Utensils, etc 


Woman Carrting Basket .... 


Angami Villages 


Implements, etc 






Putting the Weight 


Bean Game 


Khonoma Gate and Wall .... 


Bride Drting Paddy, etc 


Angames Dancing 


Dhan-pounding at Social Gennas 


Bucks m Dancing Dress .... 


Bamboo set up at Sekrengi Genna 


Angami Grave 


Angami Graves 


Memorial Stones 


Kacha Naga Bridge 


Lhota Stone Carrying 


Ao Hairdressing 


Sangtam War Trophies .... 


Konyak War Trophies 





Facifm page 

Map TO Show THE Location OF THE Naga Tribes . . 5 

Migrations of Naga Tribes according to their own 

Traditions 7 

The Angami Naga Country as divided among the 

Tengima, ChakrIma, Kezama, Memi ... 16 

Sketch of the Hill Fort Konomah, Angahmeh Nagah 
Hills (from Major' Butler’s *■ Travels and 
Adventures ”) 156 





The word “ genna ” is used in the Assamese “ lingua 
franca ” of the Naga Hills District to convey the meanings 

I of the following Angami words : — 

(1) Kenrui = “ forbidden,”, “ a hi vor hennawe^' == 
it is genna to come to my house — my house is 
tabued. Kenmih applied to the individual while 
penna is applied to the community. 

(2) Penna = a non-working day (as opposed to 
Lichn = field going, a working day) on which 
it is genna, or forbidden, for the village to go to 
work, and also, as a rule, to hold intercourse with 

(3) Nanii = a tabu and the whole ceremony connected 
with it. It differs from penna in that it includes 
the whole period during which any prohibition 
continues, whereas penna merely covers the period 
during which work in the fields is prohibited. 

Naga words, other than proper names, have, generally 
peaking, been printed in italics, while words of Assamese or 
milar origin have been printed between inverted commas 
tid will be found translated in the glossary (Appendix XII). 

View i khm Losama — S aranieti in ha< kgrouiul 




Running southwards from the eastern ends of the Hima- 
layas until it reaches the Bay of Bengal is a strip of irregular 
hills dividing Assam and Bengal from Burma. At the 
northern end of these broken ranges the valley of the 
Brahmaputra makes, as it were, a deep inroad into the hills. 
It is in the hills immediately to the south of this encroaching 
valley that the Naga^ tribes have their present home. 
Westward is the valley of the Dhansiri, southward the 
state of Manipur, the Raja of which has Naga subjects in 
the northern hills of his territory. To the east is Burma. 
Of the intervening territory the western half forms the 
administered district of the Naga Hills, east of which is a 
gradually diminishing tract of unadministered territory 
populated by Naga tribes more or less closely related to 
those within the district itself. Of these latter there are 

^ly seven. The Kacha Nagas at the south-west end 

district ; the Angamis, occupying the section to the 

i word “ Naga ” has been given all sorts of derivations ; one 
B explanation of it is that it is merely a European lengthening of 
3amese “ n&ga ” (pronounced “ ndga ”) ? == naked — Hindustani 
AU along the foot of the hills an Assamese may be still heard 
dressing himself to the scantily attired hill man with “ Oh, Naga.” 
iolonel Waddell explains “Naga” as meaning “hill man,” deriving 
bhe Hindustani ndg = a mountain. Mr. Peal derives it from nok 
ised by some Eastern Naga tribe for “ people ”(“ Fading Histories,*’ 
oj the AeiaUo Society oj Bengal, No. 1, 1894, p. 14). 





north of Manipur ; the Rengmas in a little triangle north 
of the western Angami country ; north of the Rengmas the 
Lhotas, and east and north-east of them the Sernas. North 
of the Sernas and Lhotas are the Aos, and to the north-east 
of them in the north-east corner of the district are the 
K5nyak tribes. Immediately south of them are Changs, 
but there are only two Chang villages inside administered 
territory, while the Sangtams, between the Changs and the 
trans-Tizu Sernas, have only one village inside the district. 
East of these tribes from north to south are Konyaks, 
Yiichumi,^ Tukomi, Sangtams, naked Rengmas, and the 
Tangkhuls of Somra, and in the unexplored area north of 
the Tangkhuls and east of the Yachumi and Sangtams are 
the Kalyo-kengyu — “ slated-house-men.’’ 

The history of how the Naga tribes came precisely to 
occupy their present position has, of course, passed into the 
dim obscurity of vague traditions. But enough of them 
remain to give some indication of the course which the 
migrations took. The legends of the Aos and of the Sernas 
give those tribes a more or less autochthonous origin, though 
these legends are probably the old legends of the race which 
have been given a local value. The Angamis, too, spring 
from ancestors who emerged from the bowels of the earth, 
but that not in Angami country, but in some other land to 
the south. And all the weight of tradition points to migra- 
tion from the south, except in the case of the Kacha Naga, 
who believes that his ancestors came from the direction of 
Japvo mountain, whence they spread towards the south, 
which indeed would be the natural course if they came 
through the Mao gap and spread south where the other 
Naga tribes spread northwards. The Lhota traditions say 
that they once occupied the country which is now Angami : 
that the Aos broke off from Lhota stock and went north, 
and as the Angamis pressed in their rear the Lhotas followed 

^ “ Yachumi ” is the Serna name for this tribe, the members of which 
call themselves “ Yimchurr.” The tribe is commonly spoken of as 
“ Yachumi ** by the local officers, and is mentioned under that name in 
Sir G. Grierson’s Idnguistic Survey of India. The “Lophomi” and 
“ Tukomi ” Sangtams are recdly the same tribe. See Appendix. 




suit, going first west, then crossing the Dayang at Baghti- 
mukh and spreading up the Da3rang to the Ao country or 
avoiding the Dayang and going north-east towards Serna 
country. Even now they point to Lhota genna stones 
erected on long-deserted and tree-grown hills to the south 
of the Dayang as marking the sites of their former homes, 
and remember stories of the great Lhota chief Pemevo, who 
led them against the Angamis. And it is possible that the 
migration of part of the Rengmas to the Rengma hills in 
Golaghat was partly the result of the north-eastwaxd pressure 
of Lhota migration: Traditions are extant of a mighty 
struggle between the combined Rengma villages and the 
Lhota village of Phiro, the southernmost village of the 
eastern Lhotas. The Sernas again, or at least the Sernas 
of the Dayang Valley, have a clear tradition that they once 
occupied the country now Angami, and point to Swemi^ 
village near Kezobama as the home of their race, and with 
this Angami traditions agree. From Swemi, after being 
severely defeated by the Angamis, they went to Sedzuma 
near the Zubza river, whence they turned north-east again 
to Cheswezuma and thence again north-west to Lazemi. 

Again, while the Sernas point southwards to the village 
of Swemi or to the hiU of Tukahu (Japvo) in the Angami 
country as the place from which they sprung, and the 
Rengmas to Sdpvdma (Mao), the Angamis point to Mao and 
the country south of that as the home of their race, and to 
this day the priests of the Angami villages wait for the 
priests of Mao and Maikel to give the word before appointing 
the day for the celebration of any of the regular village 
festivals, and point to the ceremonial of the Mao village of 
Mekroma (“ Maikel ”) as the type of Angami ceremony par 
excellence. The Sgzemi, Sdpvdma or Memi Nagas of Mao 
again have legends connecting them with the plain lands of 
Manipur, and it is conceivable that the magnificent system of 
irrigation by which the Memi and other Angami Nagas, who 

^ This village is a Serna village in the middle of the Angami country. 
Though conforming outwardly to Angami customs, it retains Serna as its 
own language for internal use, the women speaking Serna as well as the 
men, which shows that the Serna language is not a trading acquisition. 
Swemi = Semi = Serna or Simi, 




differ in little but language, turn a steep hillside into rice 
fields is a legacy bequeathed to these tribes by a sojourn in 
the lowlands of Imphal as they migrated north, but traces 
of terraced cultivation in the Angami manner have been 
noticed as far south as Champhai in the Lushai Hills, and 
the system generally is so like that followed by the Bongtoc 
or Igorot tribes in Luzon in the Philippines that it would 
appear to have something other than a purely local origin, 
while the stone terracing is totally unlike the easy culti- 
vation of the Manipur plain. 

Where the Nagas came from before they reached the 
country near Manipur is a much more difficult problem and 
one quite beyond the scope of this book.^ All sorts of 
origins have been ascribed to the race. They have been 
connected with the head-hunters of Malay and the races 
of the Southern Seas on the one hand, and traced back to 
China on the other. Probably some ingenious person has 
by this time rediscovered in them the lost ten tribes of 
Israel, though why anyone, once having lost them, should 
want to rediscover the ten tribes so successfully put out of 
the way passes ordinary comprehension. On the basis of 
language their origin is assigned by Sir G. Grierson to the 
second wave of emigration, that of the Tibeto-Burmans, 
from the traditional cradle of the Indo-Chinese race in 
North-Western China between the upper waters of the Yang- 
tse-kiang and the Ho-ang-ho rivers. The Naga languages 
have been differently classified by different philologists, but 
the classification of Sir George Grierson is now generally 
accepted {vide Census of India, 1911). According to this 
classification Angami Naga is of the Tibeto-Chinese family, 
Tibeto-Burman sub-family, Assam-Burmese branch, group 
Naga, sub-group Western Naga. The Angami Kezama, 

* It is undeniable that for some time migration in this part of the world 
has been from south to north, but it cannot be said how long this has been 
going on. Colonel L. W. Shakespear suggests that the Naga fancy for 
marine shells may point to a bygone home on the sea (History oj Upper 
Asaarrit p. 197). In any case, the Nagas have very strong cultural affinities 
with the natives of the Asiatic Islands, notably Borneo, and the Philippine 
Islands, and perhaps physical affinities with some of them (Journal oj the 
JRoyal Anthropological Irhstitute, vol. xliv, p. 67). 




Serna, and Rengma Naga languages are classified in this 
sub-group, while the Memi language falls under the Naga- 
Kuki sub-group, and the Lhota language under the Central- 
Naga sub-group, the position of the negative before or after 
the verb being taken as the test of distinction between the 
Western and Central sub-groups. It should be noted, how- 
ever, that the linguistic distinction between sub-groups can 
hardly be said to correspond to any sort of racial distinction, 
and monosyllabic languages like those of the Naga groups 
grow apart from one another very rapidly, particularly 
under conditions of -isolation such as obtained till recently 
in the Naga Hills. 

It is worth while on this point to quote from McCabe a 
sentence which bears not only upon Naga languages and 
dialects but on their customs, habits, and even personal 
appearance : — 

“ It is only necessary,” says McCabe, ‘‘ to glance at the 
peculiar conditions of a Naga’s life to grasp the fact that 
they strongly favour the growth of dialects. Grouped in 
small communities of from 100 to 3,000 persons, the Nagas 
have remained isolated on their hill tops, only deigning to 
visit their immediate neighbours when a longing for the 
possession of their heads has become too strong to be resisted. 
Even in a single village this isolating influence is at work. 
... As an example of how rapidly isolation produces dialec- 
tical change, I would mention the fact that the Rengma 
Naga families, who migrated some seventy^ years ago from 
Themokedima to the hills along the Koliani, are now almost 
unintelligible to members of the parent stock.” 

And this is not only the case with dialect. So pronounced 
is this isolating tendency that there are a number of villages 
the inhabitants of which may be recognised as such by their 
facial characteristics after a comparatively short stay in 
Kohima. Indeed, types of mind as well as features are 
readily established in such a degree as to distinguish a 
village from its neighbours ; thus while Kh5noma and 
Jikhama are remarkable for the stature of their men, and 
Kezabama for the “ beauty ” of its women, Kidima and 

^ It is now about one hundred years. 




Nerhama are noted even among Angamis for litigiousness, 
and Tdfima for falsehood. On the other hand, while 
features differ greatly, from the round face and protruding 
ears of the men of Phulama to the very long faces of men of 
Khonoma, anthropometrical measurements show little or 
no difference between one type of Angami’s head and another, 
or even between an Angami and a Serna. 

It is interesting to note that while the traditions of the 
Rengmas, Lhotas, Sernas, and Angamis all ascribe a common 
origin to these tribes, they take no account of the tribes 
across the rivers L^inier, Tizu, and Dikhu. It seems not 
improbable that while a Naga migration was proceeding 
northward through the Mao gap and spreading up west of 
the rivers mentioned, a similar migration was going on to the 
east of these rivers. It is true that there are now Sernas 
east of the Tizu, but they have recently migrated from its 
west bank. Indeed, the north-easterly migration of Sernas 
at the expense of the Sangtam and Yimchurr (Yachumi) 
tribes is still going on, and Yepothomi Serna villages, which 
all derive their ultimate origin from Yezami on the west 
bank, have pushed two days’ march across the river and 
are stiU throwing off colonies further east. Moreover, the 
Konyak villages roimd Tamlu and the Changs of Yangiemdi 
have undoubtedly come west in comparatively recent years 
from across the Dikhu. The Aos also claim for themselves 
a trans-Dikhu origin and in every way have far more in 
common with the trans-Dikhu tribes than they have with 
the tribes immediately to the south of them {vide Appen- 
dix). It cannot, I think, be doubted that the Lhota, 
Rengma, Serna, and Angami tribes are more nearly connected 
with one another than any one of them now is with the Aos 
and the tribes across the Dikhu and Tizu. 

In dress, custom, and traditions isolation has led to 
divergence no less surely than in dialect, and it must not be 
assumed that a custom set down here as an Angami custom, 
or a story given as an Angami tradition, will be found in 
precisely the same form in all Angami villages. As far as 
possible the villages of the Tengima group have been drawn 
on first, and Angami customs given in the form in which 




they are observed there, the divergences of other groups 
being in some cases noted. At the same time, no interesting 
material wherever picked up has been discarded, and state- 
ments will doubtless be found here given as relating to the 
Angamis imlocalised which really do not hold good of the 
whole tribe. Nor is it possible even to attempt to give in 
detail the manifold divergences of any given custom from 
village to village. Such an undertaking would necessitate 
a separate monograph for each Angami village. 

It is not without reason that Khonoma, in particular, has 
been chosen as a typical Angami village. Before^ the coming 
of the ‘‘ Sarkar ” no Angamis enjoyed such prestige or 
levied such widespread tribute as Khonoma. In spite of 
serious clan dissensions within the village, they were known 
and feared from Henima to Themokedima, and from Razama 
to the Mikir Hills in Golaghat. K5hima,^ it is true, were too 
numerous for Khonoma to attack with any hope of success, 
and perhaps had the greater influence over the East Angami 
country and did all the trade on that side. It is only of 
recent years that Khonoma have taken to trading far afield 
in that direction. 

But this hegemony, if it may be called such, of Khonoma 
merely meant that Khonoma was stronger than most other 
villages, and consequently bullied, and levied a sort of 

Danegelt ” wherever it could. The general polity of the 
country may probably be accurately gauged from the reports 
of the doings of trans-frontier villages which now reach 
Kohima from time to time. Thus : “ In May a man of 
Thachumi and a man of Lazimi hid near the salt hole of 
Phoza-N^tgwemi and fell upon two men and three women 
who came to make salt. They killed one man outright and 
wounded two others, who escaped back to their village, 
where one of them died later. The two raiders ran off with 
the head of the man they had killed and evaded pursuit.’^ 
Clumsily managed but very typical. Again : “In June the 
Lukrami clan of Thachumi planned a raid upon the village 
of Phoza-Nasami, and sent fifty men to cut it up. Another 

^ Really K3whlma with the accent on the first syllable but the second 
syllable long. 




clan of Thachnmi, however, being on bad terms with the 
Lukrami clan, sent round warning to Phozami and the 
neighbouring villages. When the fifty raiders found that 
their enemies had been warned (a man of the other Thachumi 
clan told them of this shouting across a valley), they returned 
home sticking ‘ panjis ’ in the path by which they had 
come. When they got back to Thachumi they paid a visit 
to the unfriendly clan and killed and carried off four or five 
pigs as a punishment for their interference.” 

These two instances, taken from South Sangtam villages just 
across the Angami frontier, are probably typical of the state 
of village relations among the Angamis before the British 
occupation, and the defeat of the intentions of one clan by 
the unfriendly interference of another clan must have 
happened over and over again in ELhonoma, as well as in 
most Angami villages at one time or another. Of course, 
the Angami traditions of their village feuds point to pitched 
battles of a most sanguinary description, as when Kohima 
had a battle with Puchama and a Kohima detachment cut 
off Puchama from their village. Kohima were aided by the 
Vihotsuma clan of Mezoma, and Puchama by Kigwema. 
On this occasion so much blood flowed in the gateway of 
Puchama and the narrow approach to it that men’s hands 
clave to their spears owing to the clotted blood, and men 
were suffocated in the blood that ran in the pathway. 
Again, when the Lhota village of Moilang attempted to storm 
the village of Phekekrima, the Lhotas were prevailing and a 
local Samson had killed thirty Angamis with his own spear ; 
a detachment, however, slipped out the other side of the 
village and engaged the Lhotas in the rear, killing many 
Lhotas and taking Chikeromo prisoner, whom they carried 
off to Phekekrima. There he was tortured to death by the 
boys of the village, who cut small pieces off him with their 
knives, a rare case of the deliberate torture of a prisoner by 
Nagas. It is certainly probable that on occasions the 
Angamis, like other Nagas, fought pitched battles. When 
Captain Reid visited Kekrima in 1851 the village braves 
turned out armed with spear and shield and fought a pitched 
battle with his sepoys and Naga allies. But while the 




Angamis doubtless indulged in pitched battles on occasion, 
the normal method of carrying on war was undoubtedly 
characterised by stealth and ambuscade rather than by 
open fighting, and the stories of the heroic combats of the 
men of old time have probably been very much magnified 
by tradition. At the same time, tribal migrations may have 
led to fighting on a larger scale than was customary after the 
tribes had settled down into their present areas. 

What the precise relations the Naga tribes had with the 
various nations of the plains before the coming of the 
British Raj, we have no means of knowing. They must 
have come into contact with the Kacharis, whose capital 
was at Dimapur on the edge of the Angami country, and 
legends of the Kachari King Bhim are still current among the 
Kacha Nagas and the Angamis of Khonoma. They believe 
that he yet sleeps in a cave among the hills immediately 
to the south of Japvo, whence he will come at some time in 
the distant future to struggle with the British Raj and 
eventually to rule over all who eat from the wooden platter. 
There is also a legend current among the Kacharis of Diger 
Mauza below Hen ma that when Bhim Raja built his great 
keddah at Sonapur, in that mauza, he fell in love with a 
Nagini whom he found in the jungle and who became by 
him the ancestress of the Diger Kacharis, who pride them- 
selves on their descent. The Ahom kings, again, enlisted 
Angamis and other Nagas together with Singphos and 
Kakhos in the hill regions of their armies, and furthermore 
had relations with Manipur and must have come into contact 
with whatever hill tribes separated them from their allies ; 
while a nation spoken of locally as the Chinese, but pre- 
sumably the Burmese, had an iron foundry and a salt well 
just below the village of Khdro in the Lhota country, where 
Nagas still search for bits of iron to turn into hoes or “ daos.*' 
Some Lhota and Ao villagers also held grants of plains 
lands from the Assam Rajas. 

With the Manipuris the relations of the Angamis, at any 
rate, were anything but friendly, as somewhere about 1833 
a Manipuri raid was made into Angami country as far as 
Kohima, which the Manipuris attacked and burnt, slaughter- 




ing a large number of the inhabitants. There are still 
living in Kohima an old man and an old woman who were 
alive at the time and escaped the slaughter by hiding in the 
jungle, and the stone which the Manipuris set up in Kohima 
over the body of a Kohima boy buried alive is now to be 
seen in the public garden at Kohima, whither it has been 
moved from its original site. On the flat stone are carved 
the footprints of the Manipuri Kaja, while the upright slab 
bears the carvings of a dragon and a cow underneath an 
inscription in Manipuri. ^ 

The Kukis were migrating north when the Sarkar came 
into contact with the Angamis, and the Kacha Naga villages 
had begun to call in Kukis to defend them against raiders 
from Khonoma, which maintained a fluctuating suzerainty 
over the Kacha Naga villages. It is only the establishment 
of British rule in the Naga Hills which has prevented the 
Kukis from occupying the Lanier Valley in south-east corner 
of the Angami country and advancing up to the Tizu valley. 

It would be out of place here to go into the history of the 
British occupation which has been already written. It is 
enough to say that after the occupation of the plains of 
Assam as far as the foothills. Government has been compelled 
to move gradually further east towards Burma generally 
for the protection of its frontier villages. 

Of all the tribes inhabiting the Naga Hills District the 
Angamis, or, to give them the name which some of them, 
at any rate, give themselves (for Angami ’’ is apparently 
a corruption of the name Gnamei given to them by the 
Manipuris), “ Tengima,"' occupy the largest area and are 
far the most numerous. They are situated roughly in the 
area bounded on the north by a line running from a point 
slightly south of where the Dayang river issues into the 
plains through the peaks Thev^epii (above Themoketsa, 
the most southerly Rengma village) and Mutuhu (on the 
edge of the Serna country) to the junction of the Loi and 
Tizu rivers between Kivekhu and Chipokitema. Thence on 
the east the boundary of the Angami country coincides 
approximately with the eastern boundary of the Naga 
^ See the illustration in Mr. Hodson’s monograph on the Meitheis. 

\rii»toh„M, Hull e I 


Mist in thk Hills 

[To lace p. 15 




Hills District, though the sub-tribe of Memi is south-east of 
it, until the Barail range is reached. On the south the ^ 
Angamis are bounded by the Barail range and the Diphu 
river and on the west by the Nambar forest. With the 
exception of one or two villages just outside it, the whole of 
the Angami tribe is located in the above area. It is, how- 
ever, divided into several distinct groups. That group 
which is generally regarded as being Angami par excellence 
is the Edionoma group, consisting of the six large villages 
of Kwiinoma (Khonoma), Sachema, Mezoma, Kirufema 
Jdtsoma, Kigwema, and their offshoots, Thekrojenoma 
and Sichendbama. The villages nearer the plains, generally 
known as the “ Chakroma villages, R5zephima, Chimoke- 
dima (Samaguting), Kibvdma Piphima, Pherima, Mezi- 
phima, Chowuma (Choloma) and Setikima, seem to be 
derived principally from the Khonoma and Kohima groups. 
The Kohima group, consisting of Kohima and the neigh- 
bouring villages, and the Viswema, or Dziinokehena,'’ 
group to the south of it, differ slightly, but not very much, 
in dialect from the Khonoma group, and from one another, 
and may be regarded as a link between the genuine Angamis 
or Tengima, and the Ch^tk^^ma (or Chekrama) Angamis who 
inhabit the villages north-east and east of the Kohima 
group. East of the Viswema group and wedged in between 
the Chakrima, Tengima, and Memi are several villages 
known as “ Kezami ” or Kezama,” of which Kezakenoma 
and Kezabama are the principal villages. These Kezama 
villages, although in external respects like other Angami 
villages, have a language and to some extent customs of 
their own, though the men, at any rate, speak the Angami 
as well as Kezami tongue. The term Eastern Angami ” 
has been used in this monograph to signify generally the 
Chakrima and Kezama, and those of the Memi who live on 
the Kezama borders, in distinction from the Tengima 
proper, or Western Angamis, of the Viswema, Kohima, 
Khonoma and Chakroma groups of villages. (Cha-kro-ma = 

“ Road-below men,’’ the name being perhaps caused by the 
situation of the villages with regard to the old Samaguting- 
Kohima bridle path.) 


Of the neighbouring tribes the Khoirao Nagas 
on the east, though speaking a different language again, 
approximate closely to the Angamis in culture and appear- 
ance, being naturally closer to the Memi than to the Angami 
proper. On the south the Kacha Naga tribe is apparently 
derived from much the same stock as the Angamis and 
resembles them in dress, but speak a very different language ; 
owing, however, to the domination of Khonoma in the Kacha 
Naga country, it is very difficult to say at this time what 
customs are originally Kacha Naga and what have been 
imposed by Angamis. In many Kacha Naga villages 
exogamous clans are found bearing the names of the 
Khonoma clans and probably adopted as a result of their 
subjection to Khonoma. The Kabuis of Manipur are 
probably their closest relatives. (See also Appendix.) 

To the north-east of the Angami country is a group of 
three or four Naked Rengma villages which are an offshoot 
of the Rengmas proper. The largest of them is MSl6mi, 
which, like Lapvbmi, is a colony from Sohemi. The men of 
Sohemi say that their village was founded by some Rengmas 
who were benighted in the jimgle when hunting, having 
followed a woimded sambhar all day. When darkness 
found them on the far bank of the Tizu river, they started to 
cut bamboos to build shelters. One of them, cutting a 
bamboo, found it to contain cooked rice,^ and taking this 
as an omen, the party decided to build a village in that 
place. These three villages undoubtedly speak a language 
closely resembling that of the Rengmas, and much nearer 
to the Rengma language than it is to that spoken by the 
neighbouring Angamis or Sernas. They differ, however, 
from the Rengmas in being naked, whereas the Rengmas 
wear a small “ lengta.” Another village which may be 
grouped with these is Temimi, but its language differs from 
the Rengma, and indeed from any known Naga language, 
and a small “ lengta ” is worn. The population seems to be 

' Compare the legend of the Dnsun tribe of Tempessuk in British .North 
Borneo, in which the children of Nohok Kurgung get rice by cutting down 
bamboo stems, the rice coming out from inside the stem. {Journal of the 
Boyal Anthropological Institute^ voL zliii, p. 431.) 




a cross between Naked Rengma and Tukomi Sangtam and 
claims kinship with both these tribes. The Rengma tribe 
proper has already been alluded to, and it would appear to 
be of the same stock as the Angami, Lhota, and Serna tribes, 
to the last of which it most nearly approximates. It has 
the same story of origin as the Angamis have, and the 
Rengmas in the Mikir Hills of Golaghat are said to wear 
round the leg, below the knee, the black cane rings worn by 
the Angamis, but these are not worn by the Rengmas in the 
Naga Hills. The Rengmas wear the lengta ’’ and not the 
Angami kilt. 

Apropos of the kilt. Colonel Woodthorpe, in his paper on 
the Naga tribes, draws a sharp distinction between the 
kilted and the non-kilted tribes, the Serna, Rengma, and 
Lhota, that is, and Butler also speaks of the dark, “ squat,^^ 
and “ sulky Lhota as belonging to a different race. It is 
difficult, however, to believe that the Angami differs from 
his northern neighbours so radically as has been suggested. 
It is true that the Lhota is darker than the Angami and of 
poorer physique, but then he lives in a much hotter and less 
healthy climate, and throughout the Naga Hills it will be 
found that the men of the higher and colder villages are, . 
on the whole, taller and fairer than those in lower and hotter 
situations. This distinction is as noticeable between Sernas 
and Angamis of different villages as between the Angamis 
and the Lhotas generally. To brand the Lhota in general 
as sulky ” would be a most unjustifiable stricture upon a 
friendly and cheerful race.^ Differences of dress again 

1 Colonel Woods agrees with Colonel Woodthorpe, saying that even the 
Lhotas who live in the villages at an elevation as high as many of the 
Angamis are far inferior in physique and darker in colour, although there 
are many very fair Lhotas even in the villages lying low. He adds that 
his experience of the Lhota is that “he is not near so cheerful as the 
Angami or Serna. He has usually a grievance.” 

It may seem presumptuous to disagree with an officer of Colonel Woods * 
experience. At the same time, I cannot agree at all. The Lhota, it is 
true, is less ready to grin than the Angami, but I have found him anything 
but sulky. Nor can I agree that Lhotas are on the whole inferior in phy- 
siqiie to Angamis occupying similar altitudes, while my experience is 
that the Angami villagers at lower altitudes have a vastly inferior physique 
to Lhotas living at the same height. It must also be remembered that 
the traditions of the few Lhotas who live at a high altitude point to their 



between di£Eerent tribes are not confined to a broad line 
between kilts and “ lengtas.” Some tribes are naked, like 
the Naked Rengmas, some wear a mere flap about eight 
inches by two depending from a string round the waist hke 
the Zumdmi Sernas, some wear the small lengta ” of the 
southern Lhota villages (the lengta ” consists of a narrow 
girdle, one end of which, coming down at the back between 
the legs and widening out to conceal the private parts, 
comes up in front, passes under the girdle, and ends in a 
hanging flap), and some wear the large lengta ” of the 
northern Lhotas. The date is probably not really very 
far distant when the majority of Nagas were naked, and no 
doubt those living nearer to the more fully dressed peoples 
adopted a fuller form of loin-cloth than the more remote 
tribes. Again, a close connection between the Angamis, 
the Lhotas, the Sernas, and the Rengmas is indicated by 
their legends of origin and by their folk tales, which though 
sometimes differing in detail are obviously the same in 
substance throughout the three tribes, and it has to be re- 
membered that until quite recent years these tribes have been 
kept asunder by impassable barriers of language and of 
hostilities. As for external difference of dress, the Sernas 
themselves have a story which is perhaps worth quoting 
here. The Angamis, the Aos, the Lhotas, and the Sernas, 
they say, are descended from four brothers. The eldest of 
the four was very virtuous, and so his parents dressed him 
like themselves and were very kind to him. From him are 
descended the Angamis. The second, who was the ancestor 
of the Aos, was a little troublesome and was punished by a 
more scanty allowance of clothing. The father of the 
Lhotas was much the same as the Ao, his conduct possibly 
a shade less satisfactory, and he was dressed accordingly. 
As for the youngest, he was thoroughly wicked. He never 
obeyed his parents and was always getting into mischief. 
At last, when being sent to scare birds, he neglected his task 

previously having sojourned in a lower locality. Some of the Sernas who 
have recently gone from Nikoto to a site on the Phekekrima-Changsung 
range near the plains, where there was once a Lhota village, have visibly 
darkened in colour in less than a year at the time of writing. 

The Kezakenoma Stone 

['To jam p 11 ) 




to eat all the pumpkins in the field, and, tired of his naughti- 
ness, his parents tied a flap round his waist and turned him 
out of the house. That is why the Serna only wears a flap 
while the other tribes are more decently clothed.^ It may 
be noted, however, that the Lhotas assert that the Ao 
adopted his lengta ” from them, and that when they first 
came into contact with him the Ao had a garment of the 
most scanty description, while he actually calls his full-dress 
garment “ Moiya Idngtdm,'' i.e., ‘‘ Serna loin-cloth. In the 
same way the Serna is now rapidly adopting the ‘‘ lengta ” in 
place of the narrow flap. 

The Angami story of the origin of the Naga tribes centres 
in the Kezami village of Kezakenoma. There was, the 
story goes, once upon a time an old couple with three sons 
living in that village. Every day they used to spread 
paddy to dry upon a great flat stone, and at dusk a single 
load spread to dry had become two loads, for the stone was 
inhabited by a spirit. The three sons used to take it in 
turns to spread their paddy on this stone, but one day they 
quarrelled bitterly as to whose turn it was, and their parents, 
fearing bloodshed, broke eggs on the stone, covered it with 
brushwood, laid faggots about it, and set the whole on fire. 
The stone burst with a crack like thunder, the spirit went 
up to heaven in a cloud of smoke, and the virtue of the stone 
departed. The three sons then separated and became the 
ancestors of the Angami, Lhota, and Serna tribes, while from 
the parents who remained are descended the seven Kezami 
villages. Variant details of this story are sometimes given ; 
the name of the village is only known to the Angamis, who 
still point out the great cracked stone, a flat raised slab 
opposite the house of the “ fcemdvd,” who is supposed to 
occupy as a general rule the site believed to have been 
occupied by the original founder of the village. With this 
exception substantially the same story is told by the Memi, 

^ The Angami story is that Naga tribes were aU descended from one 
father, but that the Angami ancestor was the son of a second wife. The 
children of the first wife received proper cloths, which they wore in the 
ordinary way, continuing naked underneath, but the child of the second 
wife got only half a cloth, which was too small to wear as a cloak, so he 
wrapped it round his waist, and hence his descendants still wear the kilt. 

0 2 






Lhotas, Sernas, and Rengmas.^ As regards the Angamis, 
it does not quite fit in with the story of the origin of the 
exogamons clan, but that is a logical position which it is 
perhaps too much to expect of any race. Butler mentions 
a story of the foundation of the Angami race by an exile 
from the Court of Jaintiapur who went first to Dimapur and 
thence into the hills. This history, he says, originated in 
“ an old and intelligent hill Kachari,” but he could himself 
find no confirmation of it, and it is wholly opposed to all 
Angami traditions. 

In appearance the Angami Naga is by no means unpre- 
possessing. His stature, tall for a hillsman, is ordinarily 
about five feet nine and not infrequently goes up to six feet. 
The young bucks are usually very fine, light, beautifully 
built, and powerful, though the men of the Khonoma group 
are generally made on rather heavier lines and are on the 
whole taller than the Eastern Angamis. 

The physical powers of the Angami are considerable, for 
though he is not athletic in a gymnastic way, he has great 
powers of endurance, being able to do forced marches of 
thirty to forty miles on successive days over exceedingly 
steep country. In fact he prefers marching over hilly 
country to marching on the level. He can stand exposure 
well, both to the cold, wet, and sun, ordinarily wearing no 
covering on his head, but is unable to tolerate the heat of 
the plains in the hot and rainy season, or the deep snow of 
the Himalayas. He is also able to carry very considerable 
burdens, the standard load being 60 lb., which is carried 
easily for sixteen miles or so on a sling passing over the 
forehead. The women can also carry loads, but with less 
endurance. The Angamis are naturally expert hill climbers 
and climb trees well, but cliffs indifferently and unwillingly. 
Those in the high hills can seldom swim, but near rivers 
some of them become expert swimmers and divers, usually 
diving with a stone. The Angami’s body is lithe and 
frequently very finely developed, particularly as to the calf 
and chest and shoulders, for which the climbing of hills 
and the hoeing of terraced fields are doubtless responsible. 

1 See Appendix— Bengmas. 




The toes are often widely separate, the big toe branching 
away from the others. The features of the Angami are 
mobile, pleasant and often decidedly handsome, while his 
voice is on the whole musical. But it would be impossible 
to give any general description of the type of Angami 
features, as it varies from village to village and even from 
house to house in a remarkable degree. The flattened nose 
and slightly oblique eyes of a decidedly Mongolian type may 
be seen side by side with a straightness of eye and nose that 
might be purely Aryan. The colour of the eye is always 
brown ; the lips are sometimes fine, sometimes very thick, 
and the hair, which in childhood is often of a reddish colour, 
though it turns black later, is generally straight and some- 
times wavy, very rarely curly, and never woolly like a 
negro’s. Hair does not grow freely on the face, and beards 
and moustaches are seldom seen. The women, except in 
one or two villages, are seldom really pretty, and very 
quickly lose whatever looks they have, but their rather 
plain features and stumpy figures are more than redeemed 
by a very taking geniality of expression and an undoubtedly 
attractive manner, while the tones of their voices offer a 
very pleasing and melodious contrast to the grating falsetto 
of the average plains-woman. In the higher and colder 
villages the skins of both men and women are sometimes 
exceptionally fair, and a ruddy, almost pink, tinge may be 
noticed in their cheeks, on which freckles, too, occasionally 
appear. As far as their persons go they are cleanly and wash 
frequently, even in cold weather — a quality only too rare 
amongst hill folk. Near an Angami village washing places 
are always to be found. A jet of water carried out in a 
bamboo from some stream, a basin made of hoUowed stone 
or wood, a soap-dish, similarly hollowed and containing 
Naga soap. This last is made of the fibrous stalk of a 
creeper, which, when pounded with a stick provided for the 
purpose, gives a lather not unlike that obtained from 
European soaps. Here men and women stop to wash on 
their way to and from the field, while in the villages infants 
may sometimes be seen being washed in hot water. The 
teeth are washed by filling the mouth with water and 




rubbing round the closed teeth with the forefinger, which is 
followed by rinsing. 

There are many different kinds of hair-dressing in vogue 
among the Naga tribes. The Tangkhuls cut their hair back 
at the sides, leaving a point in front, giving a sort of cocks- 
comb effect. The Konyaks grow a long tail at the back, 
sometimes reaching to the ground, which, instead of being 
plaited, is tied round with cloth and done up into an 
elaborate knot at the back of the head. The Aos, Changs, 
Yachumi, Sangtams, Rengmas, Sernas, and Lhotas shave 
the lower hair, and let the hair at the top of their head 
grow long, cutting it off to the same length all round the 
head, while the Kacha Naga does not seem to do his hair at 
all. The real Angami method is to let the hair grow 
naturally in front while tying up a small knot at the back. 
The hair which goes to form this knot is separated from the 
rest by a narrow circle of shaved skin, but this is omitted by 
the Eastern Angamis, and the Kezami Angamis in certain 
cases let the back hair fall xmtied to the neck. In the front 
a fringe is worn without a parting by the unmarried men, 
while the married men brush their hair back from the fore- 
head, often parting it in the middle. Cosmetics are not 
used for the hair, except by those Nagas who have adopted 
their use from the people of the plains, but by old men whose 
hair has turned white wigs are frequently worn. These are 
made of bears’ hair worked on to a hard wicker framework 
for which the head is measured, the tail at the back of the 
wig being made of human hair, as bears’ hair is not long 
enough to tie up in the way the natural hair is usually tied. 
Hair does not grow freely on the face, and depilation is 
resorted to to remove the few hairs that do grow long on the 
chin or upper lip, the instrument used being a small forceps. 
Shaving is sometimes practised, but appears to be an inno- 
vation. The primitive method of cutting the hair is with a 
dao and sort of wooden hammer (stvil), the dao being held 
under the hair and tapped along the edge with the piece of 

ess and Ceremonial dress excepted, a variety of ornaments are 

mte. worn in the ears. Little plugs of black wool, bits of red 




paper or cloth, brass rings, cogwheels from the inside of 
watches, anything, in fact, that the individual fancy may 
dictate.^ Round the neck beads of some sort are invariably 
worn, the kind made of an opaque red stone flecked with 
black and known to the Assamese as “ deo-mani ’’ being 
perhaps the most highly prized, a small string of which is 
sometimes worth as much as Rs.lOO/-. The white beads 
made from the insides of conch shells, cornelian, and a black 
bead made by the Kacha Nagas from the seeds of a plaintain 
are also very popular, while triangular pieces of conch shells 
are worn as well. ' With the exception of the varieties 
above mentioned, however, the wearing of beads is largely 
dictated by fashion, which is no less arbitrary in the Naga 
Hills than in Bond Street ; the value of bead or similar 
ornament is often decided by qualities apparently quite 
immaterial to its intrinsic beauty and in every way as 
unreasonable as the whims and fancies of civilised people ; 
as the whim, for instance, of dog fanciers which rules a 
dudley ’’ out of the show ring. The beads worn by the 
Angami proper are numerous in the case of young men, but 
the Eastern Angami wears a huge necklace of from six to 
ten strings of conch-shell beads, black beads, and cornelian 
in rows threaded on the same pattern with the cornelians in 
front, the string passing through transverse pieces of horn or 
bone at intervals. These pieces of horn serve to keep the 
lines of beads apart, and are themselves decorated with 
geometrical patterns in black. As well as beads the Angamis 
wear necklets of plaited cane, yellow and red or yellow and 
black, and at the back of the neck a polished conch shell of 
which part has been cut away for the comfort of the wearer. 
This shell, which is worn in front in the case of renowned 
veterans, and is frequently so represented on the effigies set 
up on the graves of the dead, is fastened on by a strip of 
black cloth in the case of the Tengima, and by a collar of 
blue and white beads with horn spreaders in that of the 

^ Children, girls, and young men often wear orchids or other bright 
flowers in their ears, particularly on genna days, and the young men often 
stick bits of fern or other green stuff into the cotton bindings of their 
hair knots. 




Eastern Angamis. Boars’ tusks, worn by the Sernas, 
Lhotas, Aos, Changs, and Sangtams, are very rarely worn by 
the Angamis. A piece of twisted cotton the thickness of a 
rope may often be seen worn round the neck of young un- 
married men. It is given to them by their sweethearts and 
worn as a love token. 

On the arms the principal ornament worn is the ivory 
armlet, a complete section of elephant’s tusk from 2 J inches 
to inches deep, but in addition to this brass armlets are 
often worn, particularly by the Eastern Angamis. These 
usually consist of a long ring of narrow brass encircling the 
upper arms perhaps a dozen times, and of a heavy brass 
bracelet with solid bugle-shaped ends which cross one 
another. The latter is worn both above the elbow and on 
the wrist or fore-arm, and in the latter case is sometimes 
slipped down into the hand to serve as a weapon, and becomes 
a very formidable sort of knuckle-duster. 

On the legs, just below the knee, rings of cane dyed black 
(with indigo^) are worn. These are not particularly orna- 
mental, and the object of them is disputed ; for while some 
affirm that the object is purely ornamental, others say that 
these pissoh^'' as they are called, are worn as an aid to hill 
climbing. They are, however, sometimes said to cause 
varicose veins, and are less invariably worn by the Eastern 
Angamis than by the Angami proper. It is interesting to 
notice that although none of the intervening tribes wear 
''pissoh” or anything resembling them, the Konyaks of 
Tamlu and the trans-Dikhu villages and the Sibsagar border 
wear a very similar ornament, differing only in being made of 
red cane instead of black. The Rengmas of Rengma-pahar 
in Golaghat also wear black “ pissoh ” like the Angamis, but 
the Rengmas of the Naga Hills district never wear them. 
In addition to these ornaments, the dress of the Angami 
male consists, under ordinary conditions, of a black kilt and 
one or more cloths. The kilt is generally embroidered with 
cowries in three or four lines,* the real significance of which 

^ Obtained from the plant StrohilarUhes flaccidijolivs, which is cultivated 
in most Angami villages. 

‘ Some old kilts in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, have little cowrie 
trefoils sewn on between the lines. 

(VilJU})ra of Salazuini) 

I To )ace p. 2.') 




is rapidly changing. In Butler’s time three lines of cowries 
signified that the wearer was a warrior, and four lines were 
only assumed by veterans of renown. Nowadays any 
grown man may wear three lines of cowries, and the fourth 
line is supposed to signify that the wearer has taken a head, 
but as a matter of fact is generally worn by anyone who has 
thrust a spear into a dead body of an enemy shot by the 
sepoys, and by many even who have merely accompanied 
some trans-frontier expedition when any fighting has taken 
place. In course of time the fourth line wiU probably cease 
to signify anything more than social standing. The cowries, 
it should be mentioned, are rubbed down on stones, so as to 
fit closely together. Over the kilt a belt is tied round the 
waist, usually of tubular construction, to contain money. 
The cowries a man wears may not be sewn on to the kilt by 
a woman, but are sewm on by the owner himself. 

In the case of the Chakrima and Kezama Angamis, the 
fourth line denotes prowess not in war but in love, and may 
be worn for any one of the four following achievements : — 

1. An intrigue with a married woman living with 

her husband ; 

2. A double-barrelled intrigue with two girls of the 

same name ; 

3. or wdth two daughters of one father ; 

4. or with a mother and her daughter. 

A man who achieves any one of these is called jdsejd. 
One of the headmen of Takhubama village wears a fourth 
line of cowries on the third count. 

Of the cloths worn there are many varieties, the pre- 
dominant pattern being black with red and yellow stripes 
down the two sides. These stripes, which are few and broad 
in the Angamis of the KJionoma group, are narrow and more 
numerous in Kohima and the Eastern Angami country. 
In a few villages, notably Kirufema, these cloths are still 
made of home-grown and home-dyed cotton, but generally 
speaking the indigenous plaid has given way to cloths 
introduced from Manipur or woven with Burmese thread 
bought from that place. Green stripes may nowadays be 




often seen in these cloths, though no green dye is known to 
the Angami, and fancy cloths generally are beginning to 
supplant the traditional patterns. In the case of Kionoma 
and of most Eastern Angami villages the unmarried man 
wears a different cloth. That in Khonoma is black with a 
broad border of terra-cotta red along each side, while that of 
the Chakrima is blue with scarlet borders. The Kezami 
villages also have distinctive cloths, one of which is black 
with three or four very narrow stripes worked of red and 
white cotton, each stripe being red one side and white the 
other, the colours being interchanged halfway down the 
line. The other is white with blue stripes. A white cotton 
cloth with black and brownish striped borders and a white 
cloth of nettle fibre with black stripes are universal. There 
is one cloth — it is white with a black and red border — ^which 
may only be worn by men who have reached a high social 
standing owing to the number of gennas ’’ of a semi- 
public nature performed by him (see Part IV). The 
Angamis, however, are not in this respect so precise as the 
Lhotas, who have a regular scale of cloths, from which it 
can be told at a glance precisely to what status in the per- 
formance of such ceremonies the wearer has reached. 
Besides the “ zhdvd-kwe ” mentioned which is worn by the 
performer of the zhdthd ” genna, the Angamis have only 
one cloth distinctive of social status — this is the pitsil-kwe ” 
worn by the priest. The Lhotas have also a separate series 
of cloths relating to exploits in war as distinct from those in 
society (see Appendix). 

In wet weather a large hat of leaves and basket work is 
worn, as well as a rain-coat of plaited grass, the ends of which 
hang out loose, to keep off the water.^ 

The cloths principally in vogue among Angami women 
are a plain blue cloth and a white cloth with black marginal 
stripes of varying width, but they may be often seen wearing 
the bright striped cloth of men. The Eastern Angamis 
have a cloth with a red edge and a petticoat with a broad 
white band. The dress of the ordinary Angami woman 

1 A similar rain-coat is made by the Konyaks north of the Dikhu, though 
not by the intervening tribes. 

[To face p. 

An<. AML ( JiPwL'j 1. Unmarried (Khizami) 2. Marrii.u (TEN<;iMij 




consists of a sort of sleeveless bodice formed by a cloth 
crossed under one arm and fastened on the opposite shoulder, 
and of a petticoat made by wrapping a cloth round the 
waist and tying it or tucking it in so as to keep it from falling, 
and covering a smaller petticoat called nikro (=“ loin- 
cloth-under ”). The hair of unmarried girls is shaved, ^ or 
cropped quite close, universally, as is also the case among the 
Sernas and Lhotas and some of the Aos, while the hair of 
the married women is dressed differently by different groups. 
The women of the Khonoma and Kohima Angamis tie their 
hair up in a knot behind as soon as it is long enough, nor do 
they hesitate to supplement it, if scanty, with purchased 
tresses. They wear no hair ornaments, but the Viswema 
and the Eastern Angami women wear their hair down their 
backs, and also wear a long brass ring through the top of 
each ear, the pair being joined by a string across the top of 
the head, and a second round the back of the head, thus 
keeping the hair on the top of the head smooth and tidy. 
The general effect of this is very becoming. The Kacha 
Naga and Ao women wear somewhat similar brass head-rings. 

Cowries are never worn by Angami women, though Serna 
women wear them strung horizontally as a belt, while the 
Rengma and some of the Dayang valley Serna women whose 
husbands have performed certain ceremonies in feasting 
the village are allowed to wear cloths embroidered with 
cowries. The Angamis, however, speak of cowrie cloths 
as essentially “ the males’ dress,” and this idea is the pre* 
vailing one among Naga tribes, cowries usually being worn 
as a sign of martial achievements. It is said that before 

1 No explanation of this practice is given by the Angamis, but the Change, 
who shave the heads of their young girls until they are old enough to go 
and work in the fields, give the reason that as long as their heads are 
shaved it does not matter what they say to men of their own kindred, but 
that when once they are grown up, they must not utter words which would 
shame them or men of their kindred to whom they were spoken. The 
idea seems to be that when the girls are old enough to know what may be 
fitly said and what may not, then it is safe to lot their hair grow. Possibly 
this originates in a notion that the shaven head is a bar to sexual attraction 
and can be forgone when girls are old enough to know with whom they may 
not so a>ssociate. If this is so, the reason has been quite lost sight of by 
the Angamis. 




cowries were known their place was taken by the white 
seeds alkre ’’) of the wild Job’s tears, still frequently used 
as a substitute. 

Angami women wear no ornaments on their legs or feet, 
but wear the bugle-shaped bracelet already mentioned on 
the upper arm above the elbow, and curious brass wristlets, 
the ends of which are palmated and turn outwards away 
from one another. They also wear plain brass bracelets, 
sometimes in large numbers. The Eastern Angami women 
wear the same necklaces as their menfolk, while the women of 
the Angamis proper wear a somewhat similar necklace 
strung from two half conch shells worn at the back and 
hanging down squarely to the breast on each side. Here 
the centres of the square ends are joined at the bottom by 
one or two strings of cornelian beads. Earrings are not 
worn by women except the brass rings mentioned above 
and the white shell worn by all girls and women who have 
not yet borne a child. When their first child is bom, they 
take out these shells and present them to their husbands, 
who carefully preserve them. Finger rings are not as a rule 
worn by either sex. Wives of men who have performed the 
requisite number of gennas are allowed to carry an iron staff 
with an ornamental wooden top.^ 

The clothes worn by women on the occasion of ceremonies 
in which women take part differ from their everyday 
clothes only in the addition of two long scarlet tassels of 
dyed goats’ hair worn hanging down from the ears in front, 
a thread fastening them together running round the back of 
the head over the hair, which is worn hanging down the 
back. It is, however, usual for a girl on such occasions to 
squeeze her arms into as many brass bracelets as she can 
beg or borrow, regardless of fit, and, Uke her more civilised 
sisters, she will allow her vanity to put her to unlimited 
inconvenience. At the Thekrangi genna girls may be seen 
with their wrists all swollen and lacerated by extra bracelets 
two or three sizes too small. 

The ceremonial dress of the men, on the other hand, is 

1 Women rarely if ever wear flowers, as if they do people laugh at 
them and say, “ Someone or other has been giving her flowers.” 

yjolacei) 21 ) 

Hi.ADs (1 Vl^WKMA 1 . MozKMA) Sho\\ IN(. (ir.NNA Dress of YoX"N(- INIen 




strikingly picturesque. In the case of younger warriors, a 
bearskin fringe adorns the front of the head, while the back 
is bound in ropes of white cotton, the whole being surmounted 
with a wheel of hornbill feathers, varying in make in different 
groups, which is sometimes extended on each side right 
down the back. The feathers are loosely set so as to revolve 
in a breeze. Among all Nagas the right to -wear the tail 
feathers of the great hornbill is regarded as peculiarly 
belonging to warriors who have taken a head, and those who 
have not done so are allowed to wear merely some substitute, 
or else imitation feathers made of paper. When a substitute 
is used it is customary to wear either the silky feathers of a 
Burmese domestic fowl or else to fasten small white feathers 
on to a little piece of hollow stick running upon a thin piece 
of bamboo and twirling in the slightest breeze like the paper 
windmills used by English children. Hornbill feathers are 
worn one for each head taken up to five, after which only 
may they be worn for every corpse touched in war, but this 
rule is a dead letter. The veteran warriors, if they wear any 
head-dress at all, wear a pair of horns, sometimes quite 
small and sometimes very large, made of buffalo horn and 
sometimes ornamented with dyed cane and hair. These 
horns should properly be worn only by warriors who have 
led an attack upon the enemy and fought him hand to hand. 

The ears of warriors in ceremonial dress are ornamented 
with a sort of rosette of about 1^ inches in diameter, of which 
the centre is formed of the emerald beetle’s wing in a ring of 
the hard shiny white seeds of the wild Job’s tears, the 
whole being enclosed in a circle of red hair cut short and 
stiff, except in the front, where it falls in a long streamer to 
the shoulder. This rosette is made on a sort of wooden cup, 
the stem of which is inserted into the lobe of the ear, and, 
passing through it, is fitted with a boar’s tusk bound at the 
broad end with dyed cane. The younger men wear little 
fanlike feather ornaments in their ears, usually made from 
the feathers of the blue jay. To these some villages add 
two white balls of down worn at the top of each ear. 

No special necklace is worn with ceremonial dress, but 
an ornament is worn on the breast suspended from the neck 




for which it is difficult to find an English name. It is more 
like a sabretache than anything else, and consists of an 
oblong piece of wood of from eight to ten by four to six 
inches, covered with alternate rows of black and red, or 
black, red, and yellow hair, and adorned with lines of 
cowries or of the above-mentioned white seeds. The edges 
are fringed all'round with goats’ hair dyed scarlet. In the 
case of warriors who have taken a head this ornament is 
worn in a vertical position and suspended from the neck by 
cloth bands ornamented with human hair and cowries, the 
human hair being understood to be that taken from the 
scalps of slain enemies, though nowadays this is rarely, if 
ever, the case. In the case of young men the ornament in 
question is worn horizontally and frequently adorned with 
horns tufted with red hair or adorned at the tip with rosettes 
like those worn in the ears. These horns are usually juade 
of the upper or lower part of a hombill’s beak split in two. 
This ornament is suspended from the neck by a cord in the 
case of the young men and worn singly. Warriors some- 
times wear two or even three of these “ sabretaches,” one 
on the chest and one under each arm. Among the Viswema 
Angamis, that worn by the young men is circular. A 
broad white sash embroidered in lozenge patterns in red 
hair and cotton of various colours used to be worn over each 
shoulder, the pair being tied together at the back, while 
similar bands were worn on the wrists. But there is only 
one man now alive in the Angami country at present entitled 
to wear these ornaments, though sashes embroidered with 
red wool instead of hair are worn regularly by young 
men. On the upper arm armlets of cane covered with human 
hair and lines of white seeds or cowries are worn, a long 
fringe of hair falling down to the elbow, but this ornament is 
only worn by warriors, its real si^iificance being that 
the wearer has succeeded m bringing back to his village the 
whole arms of his vanquished foe. The young men only 
wear armlets of plaited red and yellow cane on the upper 
arm. Above the elbow the ivory armlets already described 
are worn, those who do not possess them putting on, for 
ceremonial occasions, imitation armlets carved from a close- 


:i AND 4. YoUND men’s „ „ { „ ) 

5 Young men’s „ „ (Eastern Angami) 

[I'o lace p. 30. 




grained white wood which at a distance are not distinguish- 
able from tile genuine article. Similar imitations are used 
by some of the other tribes, while the Konyak tribes of 
Tamlu and the hill area north of the Dikhu between Sibsagar 
and the Patkoi range use both ivory armlets and wooden 
imitations cut to a different patt^. On the forearm 
gauntlets of red plaited cane fringed towards the elbow with 
human hair were formerly worn by warriors, but for some 
reason have fallen into (^use and are very rarely seen at 
the present day. On t^e legs in addition to the “pfeadJi,” 
which are surmounted by a single narrow ring of white cane, 
leggings of plaited red and yellow cane are worn. These 
leggings are, in the case of the Viswema and Eastern 
Angamis, woven on the leg, where they remain until they 
rot off, being covered for everyday purposes with old rags 
or cloth, while a special raised bar is put on the bed to lift 
the knees at the back and keep the leggings from being 
crushed during sleep. The wearer must of course sleep on his 
back. The Tengima Angami slits his leggings at the bottom 
and laces them up, thus removing them at pleasure. The 
Kalyo-Kengyu tribe far to the north, and east of the Dikhu, 
makes similar cane leggings, but open all down the sides. 
The intervening tribes do not make them. 

The waist is belted with a strip of white cloth ornamented 
with lozenge patterns in coloured hair or wool, and a tail 
of about a foot long is worn by veterans sticking straight 
out behind. This tail, ornamented with white seeds and 
long human hair as well as red goats’ hair, contains a small 
receptaicle at the root in which “ panjis ” are carried. 
These “ panjis ” are spikes of sharpened bamboo hardened 
in the fire, and are used when retreating to enciunber the 
path of the pursuing enemy, and the tail is regarded as the 
decoration of the warrior who has been the last to retreat 
before superior numbers. It is sometimes worn double in 
the case of warriors of peculiar distinction who have speared 
two of tile enemy on one spear. A sort of sporran formed of 
long ropes of cotton encircling the waist and hanging down 
in front, boimd at the end with coloured thread, is worn by 
the younger men and celebrates their prowess in love as tiie 




other ornaments denote prowess in war. By the Eastern 
Angamis each rope is said to signify a flirtation pushed to its 
logical conclusion, but this is denied by the Kohima and 
Elhonoma Nagas, who say that no meaning is attached to 
this article of dress. 

Colonel Woodthorpe has remarked that all Nagas’ personal 
decorations have a defensive purpose in view, like our old 
military stocks and epaulettes, and are planned to ward oS 
the spear or axe, while the long hair which is so profusely 
used, waving about with every movement of the wearer, 
distracts the eye of the foe levelling his spear at him, and 
disturbs the aim. This is an ingenious theory, but does not 
agree with the explanation given by the Angamis themselves, 
who, like the North American Indians, explain their orna- 
ments as significant of exploits performed in war. Thus the 
breast ornament signifies a man killed, the hombill feathers 
worn on the head denote each an enemy’s head taken, the 
hair armlets inform the spectator of the fact that the enemy’s 
arms have been taken by the wearer ; the gauntlets have a 
similar significance as regards his hands, and the leggings 
as regards the feet. The explanation is that when a man 
kills an enemy he should, if possible, bring home the whole 
body and perform ceremonies over it. This, of course, is 
rarely possible, and the head and perhaps a limb are brought, 
but in case of an enemy killed by more than one man the 
first spear is entitled to the head and the others bring back 
what they can. Even now the Naga coolies on any trans- 
frontier expedition usually manage to return with a finger, 
ear, or other trophy secreted somewhere about their persons. 
A Naga coolie returning from the Abor expedition, when 
asked what he had brought back, lifted his arm and showed a 
little finger hanging in the armpit by a string round his 
neck. The significance of the horns and the tail have 
already been mentioned. In the same way the little figures 
worn on the back by some Eastern Angamis denote a 
prisoner taken in war and enslaved. On the shield the full 
figure of a man has a similar significance. Mere heads have 
their obvious meaning, while it is inferred from the figure 
of a man represented upside down either that he has been 




killed by treachery, or that the wearer has taken the enemy’s 
children and dashed their heads against the stones. It is 
true, of course, that in the case of pitched battles the Angami 
warrior would go into the field wearing the elaborate 
costume described above, perhaps with the object of terrify- 
ing the enemy by indicating the valour and prowess that 
have brought him successfully through previous engagements. 

On the other hand, for a raid into the enemy’s country, an 
ambuscade by one’s neighbour’s well, or for a looting 
expedition against plains villages, both clothes and weapons 
seem to have been chosen with a view to utility purely. 
Plain spears would be taken instead of ceremonial spears, 
and ordinary clothes would be worn without any head-dress 
or hairy paraphernalia. It should be added that, owing to 
the aimexation of the whole Angami country by the British 
Government and the consequent cessation of head-hunting 
and fighting generally, the ceremonial ornaments are nowa- 
days assumed on very slight pretences, particularly among 
the longer annexed villages. Some marks of distinction, 
however, which have always been very difficult to attain, 
like the horns worn on the head, are very rarely seen in 
Angami villages, and then only worn by old men who have 
a real claim to wear them. 

In spite, however, of the local explanation of the origin of 
ceremonial dress, it must be granted that one part of it at 
any rate — ^the tail— has a purely utilitarian origin. The 
Eonyak tribes across the Dikhu regularly use a plain 
buffalo horn slung at the back from the girdle for carrying 
“ panjis ” on the war path. For ceremonial purposes this horn 
tail is decorated with hair and colours. Now the Sernas 
wear a tail for ceremonial purposes designed exactly like 
the wooden Angami tail. This they call “ dvikesaphU,” t.e., 

“ bison-hom tail ” (in distinction from “ dsdpha," the 
straight tail), although it is invariably made of basket work, 
thus obviously indicating the real origin of the ornament. 

Mention has just been made of ceremonial weapons. Weap 
The spears carried with full dress are always ornamented. 

In the case of young men the shaft is covered with an 
elaborate and tightly fitting cover of fine plaited cane, the 





groundwork being red and the patterns yellow.^ The 
ordinary warrior bears a spear covered with red hair for 
halfway down the shaft, after which a pattern of black, 
white, and red hair succeeds for another foot or so. The 
veteran carries a spear entirely covered with long human 
hair or having an unusually long head and an iron i^ike 
which comes almost up to the base of the head, leaving only 
a foot or so of hair-covered wood to form the shaft. There 
are, however, other patterns of spears. The Eastern 
Angamis generally use that very common Naga type which 
has a space in the middle for the hand, while their young 
men merely swathe the plain spear with cloth and wool. 
For ceremonial spears, too, a spear-head with a shank 
adorned by a series of purely ornamental barbs cut from the 
solid metal is used by Eastern Angami warriors of renown, 
the number of barbs, which are regular and bilateral, varying 
according to the martial achievements of the owner, but 
very rarely exceeding five. For ordinary purposes a spear 
of plain light wood is used, the heart of a tree that is par- 
ticularly light and tough or the bark of the sago palm being 
preferred. The shaft is about 4 to feet in length and 
the shape of the head varies somewhat, but in all Naga 
spears the head is so devised as to afford a projecting check 
before the sharpened edge of the blade, to prevent its 
slipping through and cutting the hand when the spear is 
being used as an alpenstock. ^ The prevailing type of the 
Angami spear-head narrows above this check and swells 
out gradually into a broad leaf-shaped blade longer than that 
affected by other tribes. It has no mid-rib. All spears are 
tipped at the butt with an iron spike for sticking into the 
ground, as the spear is never left leaning against a wall. 
Even inside the house it is usually kept stuck in the groimd, 
although sometimes hung up. Both the head and the butt 
contain sockets, into which the shaft is fitted without the 

^ In speaking of red and yellow canework, paaaimt it should be under- 
stood that while for the red cane real cane split fine and dyed scarlet is 
used, for the yellow part the stem of an orchid, brilliant yellow when dried, 
is usually employed. 

* Mr. Balfour, however, regards this projection as merely a survival of 
the side points of a lozenge-shaped blade. 



1 and 2. Angami young men’s 


Serna sj^ear. 



Lhota sj)ear {dr if u thong). 

Angami warrior’s (//io/?f///). 


Ao spear. 

4 aiui 5. Angami veteran’s. 

1 1 and 

12. Krmyak spears. 




aid of glue, binding, or rivets. Angami spears have no 
sheath and no counterpoise, though the latter is used by the 
Konyak tribes. Two spears are carried on the warpath — 
one to be thrown, the other retained. The usual method of 
carrying a spear is “ at the slope ” on the right shoulder, 
when it is not being used to assist progress. 

The shield used in war by the Angamis is a long strip of 
rhinoceros, elephant, or buffalo hide from 6 to 7 feet high, 
but generally about 6 or 5^ feet. At the top it is about 
2^ feet broad, and narrows to 18 inches at the bottom. It 
is suspended by a rope going over the right shoulder and 
manipulated by the left hand with the aid of a small hori- 
zontal cane handle set low on the inside of the shield. For 
ceremonial purposes a lighter shield is used. This is made 
of bamboo matting, and in the case of young men is painted 
in black with devices representing mithan horns and ear- 
rings, and patterns of concentric circles said to represent 
the sun, while the older men cover the matting with bear, 
leopard, or tiger skin fastened on with bamboo ties. Veteran 
warriors are allowed to wear a shield ornamented with heads 
cut out of bearskin and with figures of men. The open 
spaces of bamboo matting are covered with red goats’ hair 
wedged into the interstices, and the whole has sometimes a 
border of bear skin all round. These particular shields 
have a strip of hide down the centre of the back so that 
they can be used for warfare, as the veterans who are 
entitled to them are supposed to be getting too old to use 
the plain but rather heavy war shield. From the upper 
comers of the ceremonial shields spring two long cane horns 
from 2 to 3 feet in length, ornamented with tresses of human 
hair,^ while from the centre rises a tall, thick plume of about 
the same length made of thick goats’ hair dyed scarlet for 
two-thirds of the way up but left white at the top. Along 
the upper edge of the shield, which in the case of ceremonial 
shields may be cut into two concave curves, runs a fringe 

^ It is said that the hair for these horns used to be presented to the 
warrior by his sisters, who were expected to give him some locks of hair 
every time he took a head. (See Grange’s Expedition into the Naga 
Hills,” Joxtr* Asiat. Soc» 1840, p. 959.) 

D 2 


of white down, and the rear edge is adorned with a string of 
tassels made of the feather of the peacock-pheasant (poly- 
plectron), cock, blue jay, green parrot, etc., wrapped at the 
base in a bunch of white down. In the case of the shields 
of young men already mentioned, the horns are made of 
plain white wood without the use of hair. 

The only other Angami weapon is the “ dao,” a sort of 
hand-bill carried in a wooden sling worn at the back of the 
waist, the blade hanging bare against the rump. The 
shape of the dao varies considerably among different tribes. 
The proper Angami dao is a single-handed weapon with a 
blade about 12 or 14 inches long. This blade gradually 
increases in breadth from about an inch in the base to four 
at the tip, the back of the dao being almost in a straight 
line with the handle, and the blunt top of the blade curved 
convexly. The blade is fitted to the handle by a tang, the 
handle being bound with cane-work. The Eastern Angami 
dao is a two-handled implement with a somewhat shorter 
blade, which is more nearly the same breadth throughout, 
and the end of which is indented. Colonel Wood^orpe 
mentioned a double-bladed dao, used by the Eastern 
Angamis, but this variety, if it still exists, is most uncommon. 
It appears to have been imported from the Tangkhuls. 
The writer has once seen a Serna dao with two blades, but 
only one was sharpened. Unlike the Serna, Ao, and Chang 
daos, the Angami daos are never decorated with red hair, 
nor is the wooden sling ornamented to any appreciable 
extent by genuine Angamis, though the Memi group bore 
patterns and holes in theirs, and Lhota, Serna, and Ao sliugs 
almost always have a pattern cut into them^. The use of 
the bow and arrow* is unknown to the Angami, though the 

^ The Angami like the Lhota carries his dao with the edge down and 
outwards when in the sling. The SemeuB and Aos carry the dao with the 
edge inwards and upwards. The dao is usually slung at the back over the 
right buttock. The Chang dao has a very long blade and long handle 
and is drawn over the right shoulder. 

* With regard to this statement that the Angamis do not use the bow 
or crossbow (except possibly in the case of villages bordering on the non- 
Angami tribes to the north-east)^ it is stated by Major Casserly in his 
Manual of Training for Jungle and River Warfare, p. 109, that the 
Angamis in their attack on Kohima fort used ** arrows tipped with burning 




Changs, Elalyo-Kengyu, Sangtams, and Naked Bengmas 
use powerful crossbows and poisoned arrows. The Angamis 
never poison their weapons. A pellet bow, probably 
borrowed from the KuMs, is used for killing birds and small 
animals. It is made of bamboo with a double string, and 
clay balls are fired from a pouch between the strings. 

All who know the Angami Naga will readily admit his 
high degree of intelligence, and it has been estimated that 
his cranial capacity is little less than that of the average 
European. At the same time, he is less receptive than the 
somewhat less intelligent tribes to the north of him. It 
must be acknowledged, however, that his reluctance to 
adopt new manners is rather the result of his superior 
intelligence than of any flaw in it. New ideas he very 
readily assimilates, and immediately perceives and takes 
advantage of the value of such novelties as, for instance, 
vaccination. His methods of thought, too, allowing for the 
differences of outlook and mental grouping caused by 
environment, are but little different from our own, but 
where it is different, he holds to his own views with great 
tenacity, convinced that he is really right, and that the 
foreigners’ views of the causes of things are mere foolishness, 
in spite of the fact that a spurious value seems to attach to 
them by reason of their (the foreigners’) superiority in 
mechanical inventions. Indeed the Angami’s attitude to 
the European civilisation is probably to be summed up in 
the distich quoted by Nooma bin Noorka of Ka^ab 
when the old beggar-man whom he had kicked into the air 
disappeared in the sky : — 

** Oh, world diseased ! oh, race empirical ! 

Where fools are the fathers of every miracle.** 

It is probably, however, a great mistake to think that a 
primitive form of civilisation, as we understand it, entails 

oil-steeped rags ” and that they made entrenchments within 400 or 500 
yards of the British stockade, and, under a heavy covering fire, advanced 
to the assault behind logs and rocks pushed before them.” He adds that 
the Angamis “are fond of night attacks and have proved themselves 
excellent guerrilla warriors.” I think that he is mistaken about the arrows 
tipped with burning rags, and that the weapons used in this way were 
spears and perhaps stones. 




mental processes necessarily at variance with ours. The 
least that can be said of the Naga is that in general he has 
mental outlooks and mental processes far more consonant 
with those of the European than has the ordinary native of 
India, whose thought has for generations been stunted by 
the cumbrous wrappings of caste and Hinduism. Much the 
same may be said of the Angami character. Independence 
is its kejmote, and wherever independence is found, frankness 
and honesty usually go with it. Generally speaking, the 
Angami, while by no means free from that other concomitant 
of independence, swashbuckling, does possess the attribute 
of honesty. At the same time the Angami, and more 
particularly the Eastern Angami, undoubtedly looks on a 
lie as a very present help in certain circumstances. If he 
badly wishes to acquire a piece of land he will not hesitate 
to asseverate audaciously that he bought it, or that he, his 
father, and his grandfather have successively sown and 
reaped its harvest without a murmur of dissent from any 
quarter, the real fact being that the land is, and- has been 
for many generations, in the possession of another family. 
A village head-man when house-tax is being assessed wiU 
not infrequently solemnly affirm that the sole occupant of 
such and such a house is a decrepit old woman quite unable 
to pay revenue. He will point to an ancient dame huddling 
in the doorway under a mass of horrid rags. On searching 
the house, however, a spear, an extra bed, or some men’s 
beads may be found, indicating unerringly the habitation 
of a male, while the old woman, possibly imported for the 
occasion from another family, proves to be wearing new 
clothes under her filthy coverings. Another favourite trick 
is to extinguish the second fire, remove the cooking stones 
and rake over the hearth with dust, when two families 
inhabit one house. This trick, however, is quickly apparent 
to the bare soles of an inquiring interpreter. On such 
occasions as those mentioned an Angami’s oath is usually 
reliable, and it is almost always accepted among Angamis 
themselves — ^not that the Angami respects an oath as such, 
but that he greatly fears the wrath of heaven, that visits the 
forsworn and all that is his. 




Exaggeration too, is common — excessive exaggeration, 
that is. A man will tell you that an elephant has tusks 
four feet long when they measure in reality a foot and a 
half. It is also necessary to beware of being given an 
answer that is politely intended to please the questioner, 
or to save the trouble of thinking or the shame of admitting 
ignorance on the part of the questioned. But on the whole, 
truth is the rule and falsehood the exception, and Angami 
servants and Angami subordinates can be trusted to treat 
those they serve with a remarkable degree of candour and 
honesty. And they 'are capable of very great loyalty and 

One of the first characteristics that strikes a visitor to 
the Angami’s country is his hospitality, a hospitality 
which is always ready to entertain a visitor and which 
forms a curious contrast to the very canny frugality of his 
domestic economy. Nothing whatever is wasted in 
an Angami household, not even the bad eggs, which if 
positively too high to be relished by the ordinary palate 
are given to the old men whose taste is dulled by age, and 
it is perhaps not unjust to say that rarely is anything given 
away without the expectation of a solid quid pro quo. 
Nevertheless, great kindness and consideration are shown to 
the mentally or physically deficient, and the Angami is a 
model of devotion to his family. 

Another very striking trait of the Angami is his geniality. 
Both men and women are exceedingly good-humoured and 
always ready for a joke. They will, moreover, break into 
merriment under the most adverse circumstances and on 
the slightest provocation. And yet behind their spontaneous 
geniality lies a vein of deep melancholy. The thought of 
death is never far from them, and the fear of it is a potent 
factor in their lives. This is particularly noticeable in their 
songs ; their music, invariably solemn and dirge-like, being 
reminiscent of the fifty-first Psalm, even though the subject 
is love, as it almost invariably is. But this is not all. 
There is a tendency in the vast majority of their songs to 
animadvert on the brevity of life and the dread finality of 
death. As an example at random it may not be out of 




place to give a rough rendering of a part-song sung at the 
Thekrangi genna by the young men and girls of Khonoma, 
and being in point of fact of an almost flirtatious tendency. 

Men : Seeds are in the earth, and seeds keep falling 

to the earth. 

Men take them away, but still they spring up. 
But if man die, he riseth not again. 

Women : Girls delay not too long to marry ! 

When your hair groweth long, you grow old ; 
When you grow old you die. 

Both : The moon waneth, yet it waxeth again. 

But when I lose my beloved, there is no more 





The Angami village is invariably built either on the 
summit of a hill, on a high saddle, or perhaps more frequently 
on the ridge of some spur running down from a high range. 
This site, though generally in a position highly defensible 
if not impregnable from the point of view of Naga warfare, 
has not been chosen with a knowledge of the weapons of 
civilisation, and could usually be easily commanded by 
firearms from some adjoining peak or ridge. The name 
given to the village is not infrequently ascribed to some 
local feature. Thus Kwiinoma (Khonoma) are the men of 
the “ Kwiino ” trees, a large number of which are said to 
have been cleared from the site selected when the village 
was first built ; Setikima is named after an ancient pipal 
tree, now dead, which crowned the peak of the hill on which 
the village stands, and great reverence is still paid to the 
successor of the original tree. Some villages owe their 
names to some incident in their history ; Kigwema, for 
instance, “ The Old House-men,” owes its name to the 
return of part of the former members of that village from 
the site of Jotsoma, whither they had migrated, to their 
ancient site. Sachenobama, again, are the inhabitants of 
the place of the men from Sache, the village having been 
first thrown out from Sachema, then deserted, and again 
reoccupied by others. Some names have been inspired by 
the sort of whim that has designated as the “ Chicken 
roost ” (Thevokepii) the lofty peak above Themoketsa, 
while to the other names a legendary origin is assigned. 
The ancestor of the Angamis and kindred tribes is said to 
have cut up a mithan. The ancestors of the Kacha Naga 








village of Kenima are said to have received the head 

Pomi ”), though the derivation seems somewhat forced. 
Sachema are the descendants of those who received the 
dewlap (“ Voche ’’)> while Mima are the men of the tail 

Mi One is inclined to surmise that the name of 
Mima gave rise to the whole legend, but it is possible that 
there is some connection between this legendary mithan 
and that other which was cut up and divided among the 
ancestors of the Naga tribes when the Sernas were awarded 
the fore-quarters, since when they have never been able to 
keep their hands from picking and stealing. 

The Angami villages must, before their annexation, have 
been elaborately and effectively fortified. They have lost 
the less permanent of their original defences, but their 
ditches, approaches, and great doors have so far survived 
the insidious ravages of the “ Pax Britannica.” Captain 
Butler has thus described an Angami village : — 

‘‘ Stiff stockades, deep ditches bristling with panjies, and 
massive stone walls, often loop-holed for musketry, are 
their usual defences. In war-time, the hillsides and 
approaches are escarped and thickly studded over with 
panjies. The panjies, I may here explain, are sharp-pointed 
bamboo skewers or stakes, varying from six inches to three 
or foxir feet in length, some of them as thin as a pencil, 
others as thick round as a good-sized cane, and although 
very insignificant things to look at, they give a nasty and 
most painful wound, often causing complete lameness in a 
few hours. Deep pitfalls and smaU holes covered over with 
a light layer of earth and leaves, concealing the panjies 
within, are also skilfully placed along the paths by which 
an enemy is expected to approach, and a tumble into one 
of the former is not a thing to be despised, as I have had good 
reason to know. The approaches of the villages are often 
up through tortuous, narrow, covered ways, or lanes, with 
high banks on either side, lined with an overhanging tangled 
mass of prickly creepers and brushwood, sometimes through 
a steep ravine and along the bed of an old torrent, in either 
case admitting of the passage of only one man at a time. 
These paths lead up to gates or rather doorways, closed by 
the strong, thick and heavy wooden doors, hewn out of one 
piece of solid wood. The doors are fastened from the inside 

7*0 face p 44 

[^1 otoffvaph hv Mr. BvVei 

Village Gates. 1. Kohima. 

Stone Look-out Pi,a(’E { daho ) xt Jotsomx 

['/Vi jaci y) 




and admit of being easily barricaded, and thus rendered 
impregnable against all attack. These doors again are 
often overlooked and protected by raised look-outs, on which, 
whenever the clan is at feud, a careful watch is kept up night 
and day ; not infrequently the only approach to one of 
these outer gates is up a notched pole from fifteen to twenty 
feet high. The several clans, of which there are from two 
to eight in every village, are frequently divided off by deep 
lanes and stone walls, and whenever an attack is imminent, 
the several roads leading up to the village are studded over 
with stout pegs, driven deep into the ground, which very 
effectually prevents ahything like a rush. On the higher 
ranges, the roads connecting the several villages, as weU as 
the paths leading down to their cultivation, are made with 
considerable skill, the precipitous hills being turned with 
easy gradients, instead of the road being taken up one side 
of the hill and down the other as is usually the case among 

Nowadays the panjies and the stockades, the pitfaUs and 
the pegs of Captain Butler’s description have disappeared, 
but the ditches and the walls remain in part, and the former 
are still sometimes crossed over by a single log as they were 
when the bottom was studded with panjies. The narrow 
lanes by which the villages are approached are no less 
narrow, no less overhimg with thorny creepers, and, it should 
be added, no less evil-smelling than in Captain Butler’s day. 
In fact, added years have perhaps brought added filth to 

The stone walls that divide the different clans or encircle 
the village are sometimes very massive, and in the case of 
that defending the Thekronoma clan of Jotsoma the wall, 
some twelve feet or more in thickness, is pierced by a narrow 
passage with a right-angled turn in it so arranged that no 
spear could be thrown through the openings, while one man 
standing in the angle with a spear could hold any number 
at bay. 

As for the Naga paths. Captain Butler’s description applies 
really to the paths leading down to permanent cultivation, 
which are often wide and well made, and sometimes to 
paths joining adjacent villages. But the Naga paths that 




link up one village to another some miles away are usuaUy 
the tracks of men going in single file over hill and through 
jungle in the most direct route possible. As these paths 
are normally, if cleared at all, only cleared once a year at 
the Chadangi (Tsiingi) genna, they are not usually by any 
means easy going. The Naga, however, prefers them to the 
metalled road, as owing to their angles they are less tiring 
to the foot. The steepness of acclivities and declines is 
more or less immaterial to him. Bridges, where necessary, 
are well and securely constructed. When the stream is 
narrow a single tree suffices, either simply felled across the 
stream or cut level and perhaps embossed on the flat surface 
with mithan heads. Sometimes two trees from opposite 
sides meet in the middle, forming a jamb, but where a long 
span is necessary, a suspension bridge made of a long cane 
cradle, carrying at the bottom of its V a couple of bamboos 
to walk on, is slung from high trees on either bank by 
strong ropes of single canes. The paths between villages, 
and the bridges as well, are sometimes determined by the 
location of the year’s “ jhum ’’ lands, bat not so much as in 
the case of the tribes whose cultivation is entirely “ jhum.” 
The permanent roads from the villages to the terraced fields 
are usually provided with a rest-house at some distance 
from the villages where parties returning from their fields 
can halt to drink rice beer. 

The arrangement of the houses in an Angami village is 
irregular. Often, as in the Serna, and differing from the Lhota 
village, the houses are built here and there, facing this way 
and that at every angle and at all levels to suit the lie of the 
ground or the taste of the builders. There is, it is true, a 
theory that the Angami house faces, or should face, east, 
and on the assumption that it does so, the west is called 
“ Kisatsa'' “ the side behind the house.” ^ But although, if 
convenient, the Angami does prefer, perhaps for the sake of 
some tradition as well as for the sake of his own personal com- 
fort, that the front of his house should catch the morning 
sun, he quite as often as not builds it to face some other way. 

^ See Appendix IX. An eastward orientation of the dead appears in 
some Naga tribes* 


\Tt) face p. 46 

Wakiiiok’s MKMoin xL \'r ( 'mm \!\i N sirr i i* iiv sidi: oi' m» vd, thk <j|{a\ !•: hioiinkj 

l':i.SI0\\ IIKKL 

An({ami BinixjK. JKssAMr 

\Tu fact' p. 47. 




Each house has a small open space in front of it, and irregular 
paths and steps connect it with other houses. Small 
enclosures by way of gardens containing little patches of 
‘‘ kachu,’’ maize, or mustard are frequently made near the 
house when there is room. Nasturtiums may be seen 
growing in some villages, but it is very rarely that flowers are 
grown at all. 

A noticeable feature of Angami villages is sitting-out 
places. These were originally, it may be supposed, look- 
outs from which a yratcher might descry the approach of 
possible enemies, but they are, nowadays at any rate, fre- 
quently so constructed as to be useless for such a purpose. 
Some of them are built of stone and are arranged with tiers 
of seats one behind the other in a straight line, an arc, or 
in the form of an E without the central projection. They 
vary in height from three or four feet to twenty feet or 
more, and are often carefully and solidly built of heavy 
masonry, though without the use of mortar, which is 
unknown. Sometimes they surmount the walls, and some- 
times occupy a central position among the houses in one of 
the open spaces which are to be found in almost all villages 
and which serve as meeting-places for general purposes and 
parade grounds for ceremonial occasions. In the Eastern 
Angami villages these look-out places are usually to be 
found at all the higher points of the village, and are built of 
imdressed logs arranged horizontally one behind the other 
at a steep incline, and sometimes rise to a height of as much 
as thirty feet. Sometimes, on the other hand, they are 
merely low platforms of roughly-hewn planks. 

Another feature of the Angami village is its graves. 
These are normally built of stones and are either circular 
or rectangular and are to be foimd in the village itself, or 
by the side of one of the village paths in the immediate 
vicinity of the village, while all round the outskirts of the 
village are similarly constructed memorials built to com 
memorate deceased warriors. These memorials are fre- 
quently surmounted, particularly in Eastern Angami 
villages, by life-size wooden efiSgies of the dead, dressed, 
when first erected, in the ornaments and garments of the 




deceased, and decorated with symbols in wood or stone 
recording his prowess and achievements in love and war. 
It also very often happens that a number of graves of men 
long dead, including among them the heroes of almost 
legendary times, are found surrounded by one great wall 
banked up inside to a level top and furnished with a ring of 
large stones as a sitting-place opposite the Kemov6*s^ house. 
Such a sitting-place, comprising a considerable area and of 
perhaps a dozen feet in height, may also be used as a coign 
of vantage in clan disputes, and, to mention one instance out 
of many, the erection of such platforms by the hostile Semoma 
and Tevoma clans of Khonoma gave rise to very serious 
riots and still more embittered a dispute previously quite 
troublesome enough to the local oflEicials. The sitting-place 
in front of the Kemovo's house is called “ tehuba,'^ and is 
used as a dancing place at festivals (see Thekrangi genna in 
Part IV). 

Near the gate to the part of a village occupied by a parti- 
cular clan is often to be found a large stone called “ Kipuche,^* 
which is the subject of veneration. If earth falls on to it a 
day’s penna is observed, and it plays an important part in 
the head-taking genna. Dotted all over the village and its 
outskirts may also be seen numbers of monoliths, some of 
them of inconsiderable size, others occasionally so massive 
as to make the observer wonder at the labour which must 
have been necessary to haul the huge stones up to the village 
and erect them where they stand. These monoliths are 
erected to commemorate the personal ‘‘ gennas ” performed 
by individuals at which they have feasted the village, and 
are set up either in front of the house of the giver of the 
feast or in some conspicuous place near one of the paths to 
the terraced fields. In the Lhota villages the same practice 
prevails, but the stones are always erected in a line down the 
centre of the broad street that divides the two opposite 
rows of houses. No carving or ornamentation of any kind 
decorates the Angami monoliths, though the Lhotas some- 
times ornament theirs with rough designs traced in oil of 
pigs’ fat. Though the monoliths are generally put up to 

1 Kemovo — see Part IV. 

Angami Bridge. Jessami Wuode^^ Sitting Place. Kohima 

( Photo hv V, of. I)i > on 

Stone sjT'riN(J cikc’jjo (ivhttha) over (jkavio of fikst 
KeiVIOVO of KiK)N()MA 

1 Photo hy Mr linrnt i 

Stones at Chkkrokejima 

[To face p . 41), 




commemorate a feast, they are sometimes erected to com- 
memorate a person merely, as in the case of the stone erected 
at Sakhabama in honour of Captain Butler, and of the stones 
pulled in some Angami villages to commemorate the dead. 

The Morung ” or young men’s house {KichuU), which is 
such an important feature of most Naga tribes, is insigni- 
ficant in the Angami village. Sometimes one finds a house 
definitely set apart for the young men. More often one 
finds a house that is only nominally set apart for them, 
but is in reality built and occupied by a family in the ordinary 
way, though it is recognised as being also the Morung house, 
and is furnished with a large wooden sleeping platform in 
the outer compartment which is absent from the ordinary 
house, or in some cases with a high machan on the verandah. 
In many Angami villages there is not even a nominal 
Morung, though among the Memi they are used by the 
young girls as well as the young men, both in some cases 
using the same house, the young men sleeping on an upper 
shelf and the girls below them. The publicity probably 
entails great propriety of behaviour. In any case among 
the Angamis proper the “ Morung ” is not habitually used 
by the young men, as it is in the Ao and trans-Dikhu tribes, 
but it is used on the occasions of ceremonies and gennas 
which by traditional usage call for a house definitely allotted 
to the young men of the clan ; such an occasion, for instance, 
as that of the Theziikepu geima. At other times it is used 
merely as a casual resort for the village bucks, and perhaps 
as an occasional sleeping-place for a young man finding it 
temporarily inconvenient to sleep in the outer chamber of 
his father’s or elder brother’s house, although in some 
villages the young men regularly sleep there. 

The village obtains its supply of water usually from a 
spring outside the village and at a short distance down the 
hill. This spring may be really a hole in the ground which 
keeps more or less full of rather dirty water, or it may be 
an elaborate stone well, a sort of great trough with a stone 
platform running all round it and water pouring out into a 
lower stone basin. A big village will frequently have several 
water-holes, but in some villages the supply is scarce, and in 





any case the labour of bringing water up to the house causes 
a certain economy in its use. 

A word must be added on the general condition of the 
Angami village. It is not a subject on which it is pleasant 
to dwell. Sanitary arrangements are nil. The offices 
performed by the sewer farm of an English town are carried 
out for the Naga by his fowls, pigs,^ and dogs, destined 
themselves to be eventually eaten. Meanwhile these same 
fowls, dogs, and pigs, mightily assisted by the cattle, do 
their utmost to further befoul every inch of space that is 
not built over and which is already made noisome by the 
refuse which the human inhabitants cast out of their houses. 
In wet weather the filth is indescribable, and one must be 
prepared to wade ankle deep in middens if one wishes to 
perambulate the village. In dry weather the dust and dirt 
through which one walks are crawling with fieas. The only 
time when an Angami village is in anything approaching a 
sanitary condition is when it has just been burnt, an accident 
which occurs periodically to most villages and is probably 
as salutary as it is distressing for the time being. 

The typical Angami house, built in one storey on the 
ground, the bare earth roughly levelled forming the flooring, 
varies in length from 30 to as much as 60 feet, and in width 
from 20 to 40 feet. The front gable, which is often furnished 
in the case of men of wealth with heavy beams carved with 
the heads of mithan or men, and other symbols of riches or 
valour, rises from 15 to 30 feet in height, while the back 
gable is usually lower, being only about 10 or 15 feet high. 
On each side the eaves almost touch the ground, doubtless to 
secure the roof from the March winds. The house is con- 
structed by setting up eight posts, fom* on each side, with 
four higher corresponding posts, to bear the roof tree, down 
the centre of the house. These posts are notched at the 
top, the arms of the notch being of equal length, and a hole 
bored below the notch to take the cane lashings which 
secure the roof tree, and the beams for the two sides, which 
are laid over the top of them and securely tied with cane 

^ Pigs have been described as the “ peripatetic sanitary installations ” 
of Naga villages. 

'I vi'K AL An<jami Honsi’. 

I rhoto hp M, litnf 


1 . Mktsalimi 2 . Kkjvvkma, shew 111*; <hnnm\' birds .‘b J^azama 

{To face f)!. 




thongs passing through the hole. The posts, both upright 
and horizontal, are merely trees roughly trimmed. On 
this framework an open trellis is made of split bamboos 
crossing one another at right angles and similarly tied with 
cane thongs. On this trellis the roof is constructed. The 
Angami roof is of four degrees. The first degree is of plain 
thatching grass, and anyone is at liberty to roof his house 
thus. The second degree has the front gable edged by two 
barge-boards running up from the eaves to the point of the 
gable. For these and for the fm’ther marks of social dis- 
tinction the builder of the house must duly qualify. In the 
roof of the third degree these barge-boards are continued into 
two great massive horns of wood known as Jciha, ‘‘ house- 
horns,” usually bored with a round hole in their palmated 
ends. The object of these holes is said to be to reduce the 
resistance offered by the horns to the wind and so lessen the 
likelihood of their being destroyed or broken. In some 
villages, Razama, for instance, which is unusually sheltered, 
these holes are dispensed with. The ends of these horns 
are usually square, among the Memi rounded, but always 
wider than the breadth of the beam immediately beneath 
them. They have, that is to say, a neck. In Viswema the 
broad ends are sometimes split up into prongs resembling 
the palmated antlers of deer. Dummy birds of wood are 
often fancifully made to perch on the horns and sometimes 
on the beams. Very rarely a third horn is erected bisecting 
the angle between the first two, and, like them, ending in a 
bored square. The house of Pule in Kezakonoma has such 
a horn. The roof of the fourth degree, which may only be 
made by those having attained to the uncommon distinction 
of Kemovo’^ is not made of thatch at all, but of rough 
wooden shingles. House-horns, of course, accompany this 
roof too, but are sometimes pointed instead of palmated, 
while sometimes a pair of horns is erected at the back as 
well as at the front of the house. 

The sides and back walls of the Angami house are generally 
of bamboo matting from the ground, though they are 
occasionally built up of dry masonry to the height of three 
feet or so. The front wall is made of great bostrds of wood, 

E % 




to the making of one of which the whole thickness of a tree 
must go, while the partition is made of smaller planks. 
Those in front are often carved with the heads of men, 
mithan, pigs, etc., usually represented by more or less con- 
ventional designs. These planks are dug into the ground 
at the foot and kept in place by cross pieces formed of two 
smaller beams, one on one side and one on the other, tied at 
intervals with cane thongs, and resting on the side beams 
connecting the corner posts. 

The building of a new house is attended by certain cere- 
monies. When a site has been selected, the man who is 
going to build goes and places two flat stones on the site ; ^ 
that night he dreams, and if the dreams have been favourable, 
the next day, which must be a working day {lichu), he 
goes in the evening with his wife, taking fire, fuel, a fowl 
and other food, and builds a fireplace with three stones and 
makes a fire. The couple sit for a few minutes and take 
their food and return and dream again that night. If they 
do not di’eam of copulation, excretion, or any other ill- 
omened thing, the site is definitely adopted. When the 
house is finished fire must be brought from the house of a 
hika kepfiima, i.e., a man who has performed the Lesil 
genna^ and has horns on his house. This in many villages 
is all the ceremonial necessary, and in Khonoma, where 
there are no kiJca kepfilma at present, fire is brought 
from the house of any person none of whose children have 
died. In the Chakrima, Kezama, and Memi villages the 
ritual is more elaborate. First of all two pieces of thatching 
grass and a little leaf of rice beer are put where the hearth 
is to be, and on the day that this is done the Kemovo and 
a kika kepfilma must remain on the site. The middle 
post is erected, and all those present, which includes all who 
will help in the building, partake of rice beer at the expense 
of the builder. Then the house is built with the exception 
of the roof, and the thatch for the roof is placed ready. 

^ This may be to receive any evil influences there may be and so avert 
them from Wmself and his wife ; a Kuki who wishes to break a genna 
puts up in the ground a little upright stone which remains at home and 
observes the tabu instead of the real man, who goes about his business. 

* See Part IV. 

a a a a 

IM.\N of Ani^AMI not SF 

a a posts 

h h — ncF baskets 

(■ ^xninding bench 

d bearth 

(' -- hus])an(rs bed 

(the man si (»(•]>: 
lU'HV the door s( 
as to be ready ir 
euse of a night 

f — wif(‘’.s bed 
(j - bed of elnlfh’en, 
s'rvant or ohl 

h h Injnor vats 
k k - „ jars 

J\l — front door 

Ix'neh n) porch 
back door 
a-, f/^ a^, are called 
n'spoeti v( !y kith' 
arh(\ ktlokfdhUf 
kuiur/ir, and kiiUo- 

Kkmovo’s housk with woodknshtncjle roof and two cAias of mousehorns 


To face p. 52. 




Then the owner of the new house, dressed in ceremonial 
dress, enters the house carrying a spear and fire brought 
from the house of the hika kepfiima, who must be a man 
of his clan. After three more days’ genna have expired 
the thatch is put on. Including the first day, five days are 
observed as genna, and during those days the man and his 
wife may take rice beer only — ^no rice may be eaten, though 
their children may be given rice by any JciJca kepfiima 
of their clan. 

During the building of houses bamboos armed at the 
top with panjies pointing four ways are put up at each 
corner to keep off evil spirits, or to prevent the possible 
misfortunes consequent on anyone’s inauspiciously praising 
the work. This apparatus is called kethie thedi, and is 
the same as that used for crops, etc. 

The interior of the house is divided into three compart- 
ments. The front room (kihh), comprising half the length 
of the house, contains the paddy, which is stored in great 
baskets of from five to eight feet high, ranged along one or 
both of the side walls. It also contains the bench, pikeh, for 
rice-pounding, a massive table-like object, five to ten feet 
long, with a broad wooden keel and round holes at intervals 
of about one and a half to two feet burnt into the wood, in 
which the paddy is pounded. This article of furniture is 
an almost invariable appurtenance of every Angami house- 
hold, though in the case of the very poor it may consist 
merely of a round section of a tree trunk with a single hole, 
kedu. Otherwise it must be hewn from the trunk of an 
exceptionally massive tree (for it is made in a single piece) 
and has to be pulled into the village by the owner’s kinsmen, 
who go en masse to fetch it, which they do to the accom- 
paniment of dancing and singing, and the consumption of 
much liquor provided by the owmer. The second compart- 
ment {mipu-bu) is separated from the first by a plank wall 
in which there is an unclosed, or usually unclosed, opening 
by way of a doorway. It contains the hearth, composed 
of three stones embedded in the earth so as to form a stand 
for a cooking pot set over the fire which burns between them. 
On two of the inner sides of this fireplace are rough planks 




raised about two feet from the ground and laid level so as 
to form beds. The Angami does not, like the Serna chief, 
sleep on a vast bed hewn out of a single tree. Behind this 
compartment there is usually a third (kinutae) of three or 
four feet only in depth, but extending the whole width of 
the house. Here is kept the liquor vat, a hollowed section 
of a tree with three legs hewn in one block. The third 
room is sometimes furnished with a bamboo door which 
affords a second entrance and exit to the house. The door 
in the front of the house is made of solid wood and is fastened 
on the outside by a couple of large sticks or bamboos crossed 
tlirough a fibre or hide thong that passes through the middle 
of the door and is supported against the wall on either side 
by the weight of the door itself —sometimes a wooden socket 
of a piece with the door is provided to take a cross bar. 
When inside, bars are fastened to the wall on each side. In 
front the broad projecting eaves of the gable form a porch 
where wood is stored and where in cold weather a fire is 
sometimes built, round which men sit and talk. Sometimes 
half of this porch is fenced in to form a cattle shed or a 
dwelling place for some solitary person, but this can only 
be done by those who have performed the zhatho genna. 
In many villages each house has the space in front of it 
surrounded with a low stone wall marking off its compound. 
Besides the furniture mentioned there are, of course, 
numerous miscellaneous possessions filling up the house. 
The whole is covered with the dust and dirt of ages, nor is 
it ever cleaned save by fire, and that by no choice of its 
owner. The real condition of an Angami house can only 
be appreciated by one who has slept there. Mithan {Bos 
frontalis) in the porch ; cows in the front room ; hens 
sitting on their eggs in baskets hung up for the purpose ; 
cocks, pullets, pigs, and dogs foraging and rummaging in 
all directions at their own sweet will, and every interstice of 
the walls and the open floor of the house alive with vermin 
of more than one variety —such is the dwelling of the Angami 
family (see plan on plate facing p. 62). 

The human occupants of the Angami house do not 
seem to be put to any inconvenience by their immediate 

I rUotofjKtph htf Ml IhftUr 


I. Tl’^<hma(Koh/ma) 2. Mi'Jmi (Sor\ uma) 

[To fact p. TtO 




surroundings. They seldom exceed five in number. A man 
and his wife with perhaps two or three children, perhaps an 
aged and widowed parent, perhaps a younger brother still 
unmarried — such is the usual family. Children are not 
numerous, and, owing perhaps to a high death rate among 
infants, it is the exception to see more than three children 
to a family. Five children are considered an unusually 
large one. Occasionally a second family occupies part of 
the house, a separate space being fenced off and a separate 
hearth provided. This usually happens when a son, newly 
married, is unable to build his house at the prescribed time 
and has to remain where he is till the following year.^ In 
some villages, however, where house-room is scarce and 
costly, such an arrangement may be permanent, and some- 
times two quite different families will be found sharing one 

Apart from the carving on the front beams there is little 
ornamentation about the average Angami house. Rich 
men, however, sometimes adorn the fronts of their houses 
with painted representations of men and women, of shields, 
of mithan, hornbill feathers, and geometrical designs usually 
in the form of concentric circles. The Eastern Angamis 
(Chakrima, Kezama, and Memi, that is) frequently adorn 
the fronts of their houses with little models in clay of men 
in ceremonial dress, mithans, dogs, and other animals, 
executed with considerable ingenuity. These are either 
placed upon one of the cross beams or on a shelf put up on 
the outside wall on purpose. Brightly coloured insects and 
the plumage of birds are utilised in the same way. Inside 
the porch and the front room are the skulls of animals 
killed by the householder in the chase or slaughtered by 
him on festal occasions, and in some houses, particularly 
those used as morungs, huge reproductions in white pith 
and coloured wood of ordinary Naga bead necklaces are to 
be seen. These are frequently about ten times the size of 
the original and are festooned along the walls. 

^ In suoh a case the son lives in the back half of the house. It is genna 
for a parent to live behind the children, and an aged parent sharing the 
house of children lives in the front room or the porch. 




The fireplace has already been described. Wood only 
is burnt in it, and if possible it is not allowed to go out. 
Should this happen, however, it may be relit with matches, 
not necessarily with the firestick, though the incident is 
looked on as ominous. It is regarded as genna, or at least 
as a serious offence, to put out a man’s fire, though there 
seems to be no definite reason for this except that it is 
contrary to custom and unlucky for both parties. It is 
seldom, if ever, done. There is no chimney and the smoke 
is allowed to find its own way out of the house, nor is there 
any extra covering hung over the fire, as in the case of other 
tribes, as a precaution against the roof being set on fire by 
sparks. The only precaution taken against fire is the organi- 
sation of a fire-guard by the clan, which arranges for watches 
to be taken when the population of the village is at work in 
the fields, and sometimes at night, during the dry weather, 
when most danger is apprehended from fire. This practice 
is not, however, universal. The method of lighting fire is 
by the ordinary firestick (segomi) used throughout the Naga 
tribes. A piece of wood of almost any sort, though certain 
soft trees like the lime are preferred, is split at one end, 
which is slightly notched to keep the thong from slipping, 
and the two parts wedged a little apart, usually with a stone. 
A piece of split bamboo is peeled down to a pliant thong 
about two feet long, the shreds whittled from it being used 
with cotton-wool, thatch, and shreds of old cloth, as tinder. 
Some of this wool and bamboo shreddings is placed in the 
fork of the stick and some beneath it. One foot is placed 
on the unsplit end of the stick and the thong drawn under 
the fork in the notch and pulled swiftly to and fro until a 
spark catches in the tinder, when a little blowing soon pro- 
duces a fiame. Except matches, which are freely used, no 
other means of producing fire is known to the Angami,^ and 
the firestick is exclusively used on ceremonial occasions.* 
Torches are made of bundles of split bamboo or ekra. The 

^ The Aos use flint and steel freely. Both Aos and Sernas use the 
firestick frequently to take omens, but the Angamis only take omens 
from it when its use is otherwise a neoessaiy incident of some ceremony, 
as at the Sekrengi genna. 

* See the Sekrengi Genna emd the Derochfl ceremony in Part IV. 




only other artificial light in use is that of cheap tin kerosine 
lamps which are now frequently to be found in Angami 

The utensils found in the house of the Angami usually 
include an assortment, more or less varied, of tin and enamel 
mugs, bowls and plates, iron or aluminium cooking-pots, 
beer bottles and the like, and occasionally brass dishes. 
These are, of course, the result of a recent contact with 
European and Assamese civilisation. Such vessels are in 
no way indigenous and until recently were practically 
unknown. The principal indigenous household utensils are 
comprised in the following list : — 

1. Earthen Pot for Cooking. — ^This is a large clay vessel 
used for cooking meat or rice, or for boiling water and making 
liquor. The clay from which they are made is only obtain- 
able from certain villages, and the villages of Viswema and 
Khuzama have almost a monopoly of earthen pot-making 
for the Angami country. 

2. Baskets for Straining and Mixing Liquor. — ^These vary 
in shape from village to village, the normal type of mixing 
basket being a fairly deep and closely woven basket of 
bamboo with four legs to raise it from the ground. The 
baskets for straining are sometimes pointed and are woven 
with a looser mesh through which the water can percolate 

3. Vats, Troughs, and Jars for Fermenting Liquor. — The 
wooden vat has been already described. The trough is 
merely a hollowed log. Both of these may be covered with 
fiat wooden lids with a projecting handle. For ceremonial 
purposes rich men sometimes make huge liquor vats of 
enormous dimensions, hollowing out the trunk of a tree 
like a dug-out canoe, but these are not kept in the house. 
An earthenware jar with a narrow neck, made in the same 
villages as the cooking-pots, is also used as a receptacle for 

4. Oourds for Storing and Carrying Liquor. — ^These are 
the ordinary “ lao ” of Assam, grown and used by all Naga 
tribes. Small laos with curved necks are fitted with a 
bamboo sling for attachment to the belt when walking. 




Laos are also cut to form hidUs, the broad end being used 
for ladling, while the neck forms the handle and an aperture 
at the end of the neck is used for tasting the brew. 

5. Horns of the Domestic Mithan for Drinking Vessels . — 
The horns of the wild variety {Bos gaurus) are also used 
when obtainable, but the larger horns of the tame mithan 
are preferred. Fine specimens of these horns often fetch 
large sums, costing as much as Rs. 40/- when the colouring 
and shape are perfect. The colour preferred is black for 
the lower half, merging into a transparent yellow top. The 
horn should be the right-hand horn of the animal so curved 
that, when held as a drinking vessel in the right hand with 
the point towards the left, the flat side of the horn may face 
outwards.^ This makes a considerable difference to the 
value of the horn. Some, however, prefer left-handed horns. 
Buffalo horns are also used occasionally, but are not sought 
after as are mithan horns. 

6. Cups and Drinking Vessels of Bamboo. — ^These are 
drinking vessels in ordinary use and are of several different 
shapes. Rekroma and some other villages make regular 
cups, wide at the brim and narrow at the base, for which a 
white wood is used, but the commonest type is a tall, straight 
bamboo vessel, shaved thin towards the top and similarly 
shaved away towards the bottom, the middle of the vessel 
being the thickest part. These cups are carefully made and 
well flnished, and usually provided with a handle of plaited 
cane to receive which small holes are drilled in the side of 
the cup. These vessels, like all Angami wooden vessels, are 
made with the dao except for the small holes drilled in the 
side, which are made with the cold point of a spear-head or 
the iron butt point of the spear heated in the Are, or with a 
rough drill made of an iron point set vertically at the end 
of a straight handle which is rolled between the two palms. 

Plaintain leaves are always kept in the house to make 
temporary drinking cups, as well as for wrapping up the 

^ The horns of Boa Jrontalia and of Boa gaurua are not cylindrical. 
The side of the horn which is towards the animal’s back is very much 
flatter than the front. This is the case with all members of the buffalo 
family and distinguishes them from the true bison of Europe and America. 

[ (ijth bj! Mr, Butler 

1- (JouRi) 2 . \^Ci. {sniha) :{, 4. DiiJMviNfMfoKNS {liielca) 

•>. SrooN [hki)- ti. do. {ketzt). 7, 8. Woodkn Dishks (kopi) 

[ 7^0 face p. 58 . 




cold rice taken to the fields for the midday meals. They 
are called, in fact, tekwe-ni, “ rice-covering leaf.” 

7. Wooden Spoons of various shapes, some having almost 
flat, others hollow, cone-shaped bowls. The handles vary 
in length and are usually ornamented with a rough pattern 
cut into the wood. The rings or notches cut at the end of 
the handle of the spoon are sometimes, and not inappro- 
priately, a tally of the liaisons of the owner. ^ The spoons 
with cone-shaped or with long, flat, narrow bowls are used 
when drinking the ordinary rice beer. Spoons with broad, 
flat bowls are used for eating. 

8. Basket-work Dishes with little wooden feet, usually 
four of them, are used for various purposes and are of 
various sizes. One of the commonest uses to which they 
are put is to hold salted beans or similar appetisers which 
are eaten when drinking rice beer, a proceeding which 
occupies most of the day when there is nothing else to do. 
The long bamboo cup and the appetiser dish are held together 
in the left hand, leaving the right hand free. 

9. Wooden Platters , — ^These are of all sizes and several 
patterns. Little wooden saucers are used like the smaller 
baskets as appetiser dishes, and large ones as plates from 
which to eat. There is a very popular round four-legged 
pattern cut from solid wood in aU sizes, from six inches to 
perhaps eighteen inches or more in diameter. Another 
similar dish of what may be called a chalice pattern is 
imported from some non-Angami Naga villages. By some 
the wood is wound round with a fibre rope and the two ends 
of this are pulled to make it revolve against a dao, and it is 
thus cut circular with a waist. The top is hollowed by 
being similarly turned against a stone, and apertures are 
cut in the foot. More often, however, these dishes are 
merely shaped with a dao. 

10. ‘‘ Jappas'' or large baskets, narrow at the bottom 
and swelling towards the top, whichis covered with a pointed 
cover, are used for keeping clothes and other possessions. 

^ A Memi bridegroom gives his bride a present of wooden spoons. 
See Part IV, under Marriage.’* 


These, however, are usually bought from the Kacha Nagas 
and Kukis. 

11. Water is generally carried in the narrow-necked 
earthenware jars mentioned above, not, like most Naga 
tribes, in bamboos, though these are used by several of the 
Eastern Angami villages. 

12. Rude wooden stools are also used as seats. 

Implements and utensils for special purposes will be 

found mentioned in their own place, 
ufac- Angami cloths, though now widely made of the fine 
thread imported from Burma, were originally made of 
entirely local materials. Cotton, it is true, is now not much 
grown in the high hills, but the lower villages grow plenty 
and still sell it in its raw state to the villages higher up. 
The cotton is seeded by a little wooden machine {Meza 
tsangyusi) like a mangle, the ends of the rollers being each 
cut into the shape of two thick strands twisted, thus forming 
a cog. These machines are, however, seldom made locally, 
being usually purchased from the Kacha Nagas, as the name 
implies. The real Angami method of extracting the seeds 
is by rolling with a stick on a flat stone. After seeding the 
cotton it is spun on to a spindle, the spindle being spun with 
the right hand against the thigh and the cotton held in the 
left. Both hands are used in twisting the cotton. This 
spindle {themwil) is made of a long spike of hard wood 
(frequently of the sago palm) with a point at the bottom, the 
greatest thickness being just above this point. Above this 
again is a round flat stone spindle-whorl cut and trimmed 
and bored in the middle, through which the wooden stem is 
passed from its upper end. This stone weights the spindle, 
which spins readily and for a long time, the point being placed 
in a potsherd, covered with a rag, to keep it from wandering. 
The thread is gradually wound round the wooden stem as it 
is spun. From the spindle the thread is wound on to a 
sort of double T-shaped stick, called tsaki. From this it is 
unwound and steeped in hot rice-water, hardening as it 
dries, and when dry it is wound on to a light bamboo frame 
(dulo) made to spin readily round a central upright. From 
the duh it is wound into a ball, hdzi. 




The loom itself is a tension-loom of the simplest descrip- 
tion. To set up the warp the single thread from the ball is 
wound off on to the lease-rod (jippu) and on to two up- 
right sticks (jizyeh), set at a distance apart of 4 or 
5 feet. The beam {dzippa), a stout bamboo 3 or 4 feet 
long, is inserted into the warp at one end, a couple 
of small breast-rods, also called dzippa^ are inserted at 
the other end, and the shedstick and heddle (jinyeh) in 
between. The two uprights {jizyeh) are then removed and 
the warp set up in a horizontal position. A quicker, more 
ingenious, and probably commoner method of setting up 
the loom is to put out more or less in line all the rods required, 
sticking them upright in the ground and laying out the 
warp round them from two balls of thread, one at each end. 
These threads are held one in each hand and wound round 
the uprights simultaneously so that the threads fall alter- 
nately into the required positions. Great swiftness and 
dexterity are acquired in this by the women. The positions 
taken by the alternate threads are as in the diagram 
shown on plate facing p. 58. 

When set up horizontally the beam is fastened to two 
upright stakes of from 2 to 3 feet in height, or to the wall of a 
house or anything else that comes in handy. The weaver, sit- 
ting at the other end, fastens each end of one of the two small 
dzippa to a plaited cane band {chepvil) that passes roimd 
her waist. The warp is shed with a single heddle, and the 
shuttle (jirr), a sort of wooden needle of sago palm wood 
with two or three notches at the top for the attachment of 
the woof, is shot by hand. The woof is tied round the 
notches at the end of the shuttle and then rolled up on it, 
leaving just enough free to shoot it twice or thrice, more 
yarn being let out as required. The pick is beaten up with 
a sword (dziikri) made of a flat piece of wood of the sago 
palm pointed at both ends. On this loom, of course, only 
the plain, or chequer, textile pattern can be woven. Lines 
of colour are introduced into the warp by laying out threads 
of different colours on to the jizyeh^ but the woof is 
always of a single colour, either white or black, among the 
Angamis, while the Sernas and most of the Lhotas likewise 




employ a woof of a single colour. The Aos, however, intro 
duce transverse lines of colour into some of their cloths by 
changing the woof. The breadth of a piece of cloth made 
on one of these looms runs from 18 to 30 inches, the length 
from 4 to 5 feet.^ An ordinary Angami cloth consists of 
three breadths of 18 inches sewn together. 

The whole operation is performed by women, and among 
the Angamis by all women, but there is no prohibition 
against the touching, etc., of the implement by men. The 
only embroidery (kweku) worked on the cloth is done by 
working little patches of colour design into the cloth as it is 
woven by hand with a bamboo needle and a fine pick of 
hard wood (bamboo or sago palm), which is also used to 
beat up the stitches. The pattern is always one of the 
triangles and lozenges^ forming a small rectangular patch. 
The material used is either the same cotton thread as that 
used for weaving, or wool brought from the plains. The 
needle used nowadays is sometimes a steel one, imported. 

Besides cotton the fibres of a species of nettle, vmvei and 
of a species of jute, gaJceh, are used in making cloth. The 
fibre obtained from the former is spun in fairly fine threads 
and makes a very durable drab-coloured cloth in which 
black lines (of dyed cotton) are woven at broad intervals. 
The jute plant, on the other hand, is only used for a very 
coarse material. The outer skin is stripped from the green 
plant, twisted by hand into stout twine, and rolled on to 
bits of stick. It is then spun into a very coarse and rough 
cloth, which is, however, very durable. This cloth is seldom 
worn, but is used for bedding. In dyeing, only five colours 
are known to the Angamis — ^black, blue, scarlet, pale terra- 
cotta, and yeUow. They are not mixed to make different 
shades. The first two are made from the indigo^ plant 
{tsopril), which is grown in most villages. Scarlet dye 
is made from the juice of a creeper called ^nki, and a 
pale terra-cotta dye from a creeper called tsenhil. In 
both cases the wood of the creeper is cut up into small 

1 I have, however, seen one of about 15 feet. 

* No doubt originally representing the human figure. 

* Not the real indigo, but Strobilanthes flcusoidifoUud, 




pieces and boiled together with the hair, thread, or eloth to 
be dyed. Yellow dye is similarly made from a tree called 

After weaving, which is practised by all Angami women, 
the most important industry, other than cultivation, is 
blacksmithy. This is practised by individuals (there are 
usually two or three or even more in most large villages) 
who either live on it alone or combine it with the cultivation 
of whatever fields they have. Spear-heads and butts, daos, 
axes, and spade-hops and knives are their principal pro- 
ductions ; sickles and a few awls and drill points are also 
made. The blacksmith’s anvil (reJcri-chi) is a large fiat 
stone. His hammers {reJcri jivii) are made of smooth 
oblong or egg-shaped stones of various sizes picked from 
the bed of a mountain stream and bound tightly to a short 
stout stick by means of a sort of cane cradle, which leaves 
the nose of the stone free for use.^ A split and fiattened 
bamboo serves for pincers (jibbeh), and these, excepting his 
bellows, are all the instruments he needs. The bellows 
(kuru) are made of two sections of a large bamboo, or more 
often in the Angami country of hollowed sections of a tree 
placed upright together on the ground. From a hole in 
the bottom of each of these a short bamboo tube is led. 
These two tubes meet at the place where the fire is to be 
made, being brought through holes in a fiat sandstone ^ set 
upright, against which the charcoal is heaped. The air is 
pumped to the fire by means of two pistons, the ends of 
which are usually covered with the skin of the flying squirrel 
or with chicken feathers. These are worked alternately by 
a man standing behind the bamboos and holding a piston 
rod in each hand. The soft fur, or feathers, with which the 
end of the rod is bound fits closely in the bamboo and acts 
as an efficient pump. The iron which is used for making 
the spear-heads, etc., is brought from the plains in the form 
of cheap spades (in old times it was got from Manipur), and 
wrought by the smith into weapons of soft steel easily kept 
sharp by whetting with water on a stone. It is tempered 

^ Similarly halted hammers are used in the Philippines. 

‘ A regular trade in such stones is done by Jotsoma village. 




by cooling with water mixed with salt, and particularly 
with chillies, with bamboo pickles, or with all three. The 
water evaporates, leaving a sediment on the blade, which is 
again heated and the process repeated a number of times. 
Old weapons are also treated in this way to renew them. 
A spear-head is, of course, sharpened on both sides, as well 
as both edges, but a dao is only sharpened on one side of its 
edge, and, unless made on purpose for a left-handed man, 
can only be used effectively on solid substances by a down- 
ward blow from the right. The sickle has a serrated edge, 
the edge being notched with a dao after the blade is cold. 
The only other form of metal work is the making of brass 
earrings from brass wire. These are usually in the form of a 
plain coil on a stem, or are merely a plain brass ring. 

Pots {rilga) are only made in certain villages, notably 
Viswema and Khuzama, where clay is available.^ They are 
modelled from the lump by hand, without the aid of any 
wheel or implements, roughly round, with a somewhat 
greater circumference near the base than at the mouth, the 
lip of which is turned outwards. They are made of different 
sizes, and those for liquor have narrow necks. They are 
neither glazed nor varnished. A great number crack in the 
firing, which is done in an open fire. They have no orna- 
mentation of any kind, nor are pots with handles made. 
For firing they are placed in rows on a platform of green logs 
and covered with a layer of leaves, when dry sticks are 
placed on the top, and underneath a fire lighted. Except 
for shields, no hide or leather work is used, nor is any form 
of preparation of hide known beyond stretching and sun- 

Basketry is a very important industry, as baskets are 
made for a variety of uses. All baskets are made either to 
stand in the house or to carry on the back, some, of course, 
serving both purposes. Of the carrying baskets the principal 
are baskets for carrying firewood, for carrying miscellaneous 

1 Among the Sernas and some other tribes pots are made exclusively by 
women, but among the Angamis I have seen both sexes making them. 
The Serna women, as also the Chang, forbid men to approach when they 
are making pots. If men approach the pots break in the firing. 




articles, and for carrying husked rice. The first {thehrakor) 
is a loose basket with a broadish bottom, though broader at 
the top. It is woven of cane in an' open lozenge-shaped or 
hexagonal mesh cross-warped and twined at the top and 
the bottom. The other two are pointed at the bottom and 
woven in the chequer, twilled or wicker pattern. In the 
case of the basket {kodi) ioT carrying husked rice the mesh 
is so fine as to make the basket virtually water-tight. The 
latter two baskets are sometimes given a slightly truncated 
point and four feet, fprmed by the ends of four of the bamboo 
stays, which run from the point to the rim. For the coarse 
basket (kola) cane is employed, while the third kind is made 
of bamboo split and peeled into very fine thongs. The 
baskets inside the house have already been mentioned. 
Those for storing rice are woven in the twill, chequer, or 
wicker pattern, and stand, with their pointed lids, from 
5 to 8 feet high, and measure as much as 4 feet in diameter. 
Another very large basket (lithi), woven as a rule in the twill 
pattern so closely as to be water-tight, is used for mixing 
rice beer. It runs to 3 or 4 feet in height and about the same 
in width, and is more or less square, having bamboo stays 
at the four corners. Other small baskets are made usually 
with the twilled pattern for mixing and straining rice beer, 
and numbers of small baskets are used for various purposes. 
They are never made with handles. 

Mats are made of split bamboo, usually in the twilled 
pattern, and are some of them very finely woven. Head- 
bands for carrying loads also are plaited, usually in the 
chequer pattern, from cane or finely shredded bamboo 
thongs. Necklets, armlets, and leggings are also woven 
from fine strips of dyed cane. 

The carving and woodwork of the Angamis is decidedly 
superior to that of the Sernas and Lhotas. Only three or 
four tools are used, however, the dao (zAe), the axe (mcrr), 
the hand-drill (chilgeh), the chisel (riizhe), and the knife 
(tsukwe). The axe is an iron blade, decidedly suggestive 
of a long stone celt in form, fitted to one of two hafts by the 
mere insertion of the butt of the blade into a rectangular hole 
made to receive it. When the axe is required for splitting 





wood the blade is fitted in its vertical plane and called 
merr or sidure ; when it is required as an adze for planing or 
chiselling wood it is fitted in its horizontal plane and called 
kethi. The drill has been already described and is really 
just a smooth round stick, into the lower and cane-bound 
end of which an iron point, often of umbrella wire, is fitted. 
It is manipulated by rolling the handle between the palms 
of the hands. The chisel sometimes has a wooden handle, 
otherwise it is of plain iron. With these tools all sorts of 
articles are made from husking-tables to platters. With 
them the solid doors of villages, planks for the fronts of 
houses, house horns, liquor vats, and single-span bridges 
are hewn in the solid block from trees of huge girth, and with 
them are made the bamboo cups and wooden dishes used at 
every meal. Holes are made either with fire or the drill or 
the head or butt of a spear. The shape of the article to be 
made determines how the tree is to be cut. The grain of 
the wood is not taken into account. When planks are made 
the tree is split in two with the sidure and each half planed 
down with the kethi from the round side until a plank of the 
required thickness is left. 

The carvings on wood are usually of conventional designs 
which vary in villages and are nowhere of a very strict 
uniformity. Figures and symbols in very high relief are 
the prevailing form, but carvings almost flush with the wood 
are also found. In the latter case they are sometimes 
coloured with the colours used for dyeing cloth, and with 
lime for white paint. The representation of the human 
head is naturally common, and in the Eastern Angami 
villages a careful differentiation is made between the ordinary 
head taken from a neighbour and the heads taken from 
Tangkhul villages. The Tangkhul ‘‘ cockscomb is clearly 
shown in the representation of the latter. Perhaps the 
commonest conventional form of all is that of the mithan 
head (see plate facing p. 68). This is symbolic of wealth, 
as is the hom-bill feather of valour, and is usually repre- 
sented with rather exaggerated horns, square projections 
for ears, and a purely conventional nose ; a still more 
conventionalised form with squared horns is also occasion- 




ally seen. The carving of a pig’s head is even more 
conventional still, being little more than a lozenge with 
the ends squared oflE. Another conventional carving which 
is symbolical of prosperity is so vague that while some 
say it represents the breasts of women, others affirm 
that it is merely a tale of baskets of dhan. Of course, 
the form of a breast and that of the top of a dhan basket 
are not wholly dissimilar. These carvings and others may 
be seen in large numbers on the great doors of villages, on 
the front gables of houses, and even on the wooden bridges 
that span the streams. 

The human figure is executed in life size for erection over 
graves, particularly in Eastern Angami villages, while 
wooden dolls are also made, some of them with considerable 
elaboration and dressed up in miniature reproductions of 
Angami costume. The original manufacture of these dolls 
seems to have been a case of “ Art for Art’s sake ” merely, 
but those who know how to make them are usually willing 
to manufacture them for sale. It is generally considered 
improper for any but old men to make them, but neverthe- 
less comparatively young men do make them, if they expect 
to gain anything thereby. 

Hard materials like shells, ivory, bone, and horns are 
bored with the drill and rubbed on stones to make them 
smooth. Cutting is done with the dao, and if a hammer is 
needed a stone serves the purpose, but in the preparation 
of conches and cowries for wear, rubbing on a stone is the 
important process. Polishing is not resorted to and the 
finished article is left to acquire polish by wear. Ivory 
armlets seem to have been cut from the tusk with a dao, 
notched so as to give it a saw edge, the cut surface being 
rubbed smooth on stones. They are nowadays cut with a 
saw. The trade in shells and beads and the making up of 
shells into forms popular among Nagas is almost entirely 
in the hands of the village of Khonoma. Numbers of this 
village go down to Calcutta to trade and come back through 
Burma and Manipur, one man of a party perhaps being able 
to speak a little bad Assamese or worse Hindi. 

In the treatment of hard substances, as in woodwork and 

F 2 




blacksmithy, there is a growing tendency to add to the 
very limited stock of tools used by the Nagas in the 
ordinary way by purchase from shops at Kohima or in the 

Musical instruments are made with one exception from 
wood only, and, like other woodwork, are made by the 
person who intends to make use of them, for their manufac- 
ture is not confined to particular individuals. The Angami 
trumpet (ketsu) is made from the dried and hollow stem of 
the shrub of that name, the mouthpiece being formed merely 
by cutting obliquely across the narrow end. At the broad 
end, the mouth is usually left closed and an opening of the 
same pattern as that in a common English metal whistle 
cut just above it. The instrument is 6 or 7 feet long and 
its sound carries for a considerable distance and a number 
of notes can be blown upon it. The Angamis of Samaguting 
make a variety of trumpet which is a deliberate attempt to 
copy the bugles which they have seen used by the military 
police, an outpost of which was at one time stationed there. 
These bugles are made of short sections of bamboo fitted 
one into another and fastened by gum, made of rubber and 
cactus juice, so as to give a straight tube of gradually in- 
creasing width. The mouth is made of the upper half of a 
gourd. The mouthpiece, however, is made like that of the 
genuine Naga trumpet and does not seem to be blown like the 
English bugle with a loose lip. Military bugle-calls picked 
up by ear may be heard reproduced on this instrument with 
very fair accuracy by the bucks of the village. The Angami, 
however, is not so clever at this as the Lhota, who is some- 
what gifted musically. The Lhota villages, after the Abor 
expedition on which many Naga coolies were taken, fairly 
rang with bugle-calls picked up by ear on the expedition 
and not even practised until after the return home. One 
non- wooden musical instrument was mentioned : this is the 
buffalo-hom (reli-ki) made particularly, but not by any 
means exclusively, in Khonoma. It is usually made of 
about a foot and a half of buffalo horn, roughly trimmed and 
cut square at the wide end. Into the narrow end a wooden 
mouthpiece is fitted. This mouthpiece is merely a wooden 




tube about 2 or 3 inches long, cut oblique at the mouth 

In addition to the instruments mentioned, flutes {loum) 
and Jews’ harps (theJcu) are made. The flute is made of a 
piece of bamboo about 18 inches to 2 feet in length, solid 
at one end and open at the other. There are two holes, one 
at each end, a couple of inches or so from the end in each 
case. The player, though sometimes standing, usually 
plays seated, the solid end of the flute being rested on the 
ground. Just above ‘the aperture at this end the flute is 
grasped between the thumb and either the first or second 
finger of the right hand, the second or first finger being used 
to close or open the aperture. The flute, particularly if a 
small one, may also be played without resting the solid end 
on the ground, but in that case a continual pressure has to 
be exerted to keep the open end against the left hand. The 
left hand is extended and the thumb and fore finger rested 
against the cheek, the open end of the flute being stopped 
by the palm, and the mouth applied to the hole in the side. 
The holes are burnt with a heated drill. The pitch of the 
flute varies according to its size, and the few notes produced 
are particularly musical and liquid. 

The Jews’ harp is made out of a piece of thin flat bamboo 
about 1 inch wide and 4 or 5 inches long. The centre is 
cut away so as to leave a prong attached to the frame at 
one end. A string is fastened to this end, either to a sort 
of handle or through a small hole where the prong joins the 
frame ; by jerking this the prong is made to vibrate, and 
another string in the form of a loop is attached to the opposite 
end of the frame, the fore finger of the other hand being 
passed through this loop. The instrument is made to vibrate 
between the lips of the open mouth, which acts as a sounding 
board, and a skilful player can produce a quite unexpected 
volume of sound. 

The Jews’ harp is, generally speaking, the only musical 
instrument played by women. Among the Sernas also 

^ Some of the Konyak tribes use a similar buffalo horn, but without 
the wooden mouthpiece, which appears to bo used by the Angamis so 
that the horn may be blown in precisely the same manner as the ketau. 




women play the Jews’ harp, while it is absolutely tabu for 
them to play the flute, which is regarded as belonging 
exclusively to males. The trumpet and horn are not used 
by Sernas. Among the Lhotas women do not, in point of 
fact, play any instrument except the Jews’ harp, though it 
is not positively said to be tabooed to play on the other 
instruments, while Angami women occasionally do play the 
lovm, though but rarely. 

Some villages of the Dzuno-kehena group, in particular 
Viswema, use an instrument called nho (see plate facing 
p. 65), probably adopted from the Memi group and 
possibly originally suggested by some instrument in use 
in Manipur. It is played both with one and with two 
hands. With one hand the back of the nail of the fore- 
finger of the right hand is used, the rod being held in the 
left hand. The sounder is a half-gourd covered with a 
pig’s bladder or a bit of goatskin fastened to the gourd 
by pegs of wood. The bridge is of wood, and there is 
a hole at the bottom of the gourd. The string (there 
is only one) is cotton or, if procurable, wire. The key to 
which the end of the string is fastened is just a peg which is 
twisted in its hole in the rod when necessary. 

Salt, though nowadays very seldom, if ever, made in 
Angami villages, deserves mention in a list of manufactures, 
as it must have been made by Viswema and other villages 
possessing brine weUs before the pacification of the Angami 
hills, and it still forms an important article of commerce. 
Naga salt, as opposed to salt bought in the Kohima bazaar, 
is nowadays purchased from the Kacha Naga, Sangkam, or 
Tangkhul country. It is said to have medicinal properties 
denied to ordinary salt and is used as a thirst-raiser, a cake 
being nibbled at intervals of draughts of rice beer. The 
method employed in preparing it by the Kacha Nagas, 
Tangkhuls, Sangtams, and others probably differs little 
from that formerly employed by Angamis. Where there is 
no natural well, a hole is dug and a hollowed tree-trunk sunk, 
where the salt spring is, in such a manner that the end of the 
trunk projects. A receptacle on a string is let down to 
haul up the brine. This receptacle is emptied into other 
vessels for evaporation. In some cases the latter is a flat 




earthen or iron dish lined with a leaf which adheres to the 
block when the moisture has been evaporated. The block 
with the leaf adhering is taken from the dish, and the edge 
bound with another leaf tied on by bamboo thongs, when the 
whole is ready for trade. In other cases the brine is poured 
straight into a small round earthenware pot in which it 
hardens, when the whole pot with its contents is sold. 
Evaporation takes place either over an ordinary fire, the 
pot being placed on the three hearth-stones, or over a 
regular oven which has holes in the top to receive the evapora- 
tion dishes ; ovens of this sort are built of clay and sticks. 

Wood ashes from the fire are sometimes sprinkled into the 
boiling brine, apparently to prevent its boiling over during 
evaporation and to increase the bulk of the salt product. 

These ashes, of course, become a part of the final salt block, 
which, whether ashes are with it or not, is composed of a 
coarse grey or brown substance, in texture not unlike 
pumice-stone and in taste suggesting brackish earth and 
iron. It is generally preferred by the Angami to purified 
salt for every purpose, but costs much more. Tangkhul 
Nagas about to make salt must remain chaste on the pre- 
ceding night and speak to no one the next morning until the 
salt wells are reached and the fires for evaporation lit. 

A word may here be added as to currency. Before the Currem 
coming of the British and the rupee, barter was undoubtedly 
the principal method of trade, but a currency of a sort 
existed in conch shells and iron. One conch shell, in length 
equal to the breadth of eight fingers, is said to have been 
worth a cow, and small iron hoes brought from Manipur 
were also used as a currency, it being possible to make an 
Angami hoe from three of these Manipuri hoes, which were 
about 6 inches long by 3 inches broad. Iron was likewise 
used as a currency by the Aos in the form called in bastard 
Assamese ‘‘ chabili,” a piece of thin iron, roughly key- 
shaped,^ and about 8 inches long. These chabili,’* how- 
ever, were tokens merely, having no use except as money, 
and one ‘‘ chabili ” was reckoned the equivalent of a day’s 
labour. Large numbers of these “ chabili ” are still to be 

^ The likeness to a key is not great, and it has been plausibly suggested 
that these “ chabili ” represent spears degraded into the form of a currency. 




♦seen in the houses of rich men in the Ao country. Among 
the Yachumi and other trans-frontier tribes there is a form 
of currency, which still does duty, consisting of a string 
composed of quite worthless pieces of broken conch shell 
beads alternated with bits of bamboo, one string having the 
token value of about four annas of Indian money. The Chang 
use flat metal gongs, each being worth now not more than 
two rupees, though their value was formerly much higher 
also the worn-out blades of daos, which are used for making 
new daos as well as for money. They used at one time, too, 
to use small conch shell beads as money. 

Salt is said by the Angamis to have been too precious to 
be in general use as a medium of exchange. 

The most striking difference between the Angamis and 
their neighbours on the north is their cultivation of wet 
rice. While the Lhotas, Sernas, Aos, and trans-Dikhu and 
trans-Tizu tribes cultivate only by jhuming ’’ (that is, by 
clearing land and growing crops on it for two years and then 
allowing it to return to jungle), the Angami has an elaborate 
system of terracing and irrigation by which he turns the 
steepest hill sides into flooded rice-fields, and in dealing with 
his cultivation, this terraced cultivation and “ jhuming ’’ 
must be treated separately. All the Angamis, however, do 
not practise this wet cultivation, as the Chakroma Angamis 
living nearer to the plains have so much jhum land that 
they are able to live on this alone, and good jhum land, 
cleared once in twelve or fifteen years, say, is said to pro- 
duce a better crop than the ‘‘ panikhets ’’ or terraced fields. 

The method of preparing land for wet cultivation is to 
dig and build the side of the hill into terraces of from 2 to 
20 feet broad — 200 feet broad if the ground is level enough. 
The stones taken out of the soil are used to bank up the 
walls of the terraces. The terraces are irrigated by channels 
which carry water from some stream or torrent for a distance 
that may sometimes be measured in miles, many fields 

1 Since writing the above, the value of the brass ** gong now current 
has dropped to eight annas. The bell metal gongs which represented the 
value of five rupees or more a few years ago have been driven out of 
cirovilation by the brass substitute. 


[To face p. 72. 




being fed on the way. Each terrace, of course, cannot 
have its own channel, but usually obtains water either from 
the next terrace above it or from one of the terraces in the 
same row, the terraces being so carefully graduated that the 
water may flow from terrace to terrace round a whole spur 
and back again to a point little below that from which it 
started. Water is also often carried from one terrace to 
another terrace in a hollow bamboo passing over other 
terraces and channels in between. 

The rainfall in the Angami country being very heavy, 
many terraced fields can, if necessary, be flooded at almost 
any time of the year. These are usually the most valuable 
lands. On the other hand, of course, many fields cannot be 
put under water at will, and a spring drought, or dry spring 
winds lasting later than usual, may cause a delay in flooding 
terraces which considerably impairs the yield of the crop. 
Water is, of course, regarded as property, and very valuable 
property. The first man to dig a channel tapping some 
new stream acquires a right to the water drawn in the water 
channel to the exclusion of anyone else wishing to tap the 
stream higher up, though there are certain large streams 
like the Siju which are regarded as common property and 
in the water of which no right can be established. The 
water that is drawn naturally becomes in the course of time 
itself the subject of all sorts of rights, rights of purchase, of 
custom, and of inheritance. The overflow, for instance, 
from the field of one man may be utilised by another who 
has no connection with him, and may even be of a different 
village. This latter, by using the overflow, establishes 
what might be called a right of easement in the overflow, 
and although the original owner might perhaps successfully 
maintain his right to absorb that overflow into new fields 
made by him, any attempt to turn the overflow to the 
fields of a third party, even when bought by the owner of the 
water, or to sell or otherwise divert it from the existing user, 
would be regarded as illegal. Ownership of terraced fields 
is not communistic but strictly individual, and sales, divi- 
sions between heirs, and similar circumstances have made 
the water rights in an Angami village a very complicated 




affair. Water is divided up, either by tapping the channels 
or by partitioning them into two or more runnels, and rights 
of overflow, tapping, etc., may be transferred. It may 
thus happen that one man’s fields will be dry while those 
immediately adjoining will be flooded, or a field at the end 
of one line is dry while that immediately above is full, but 
the water has to go right away round the spur of a hill and 
back again before the dry field gets its share. The owner 
of the dry field then not infrequently resorts to the obvious 
device of running the water off the field above to his field 
below, to the intense annoyance of the owner of the water and 
of those entitled to prior use of the overflow. Hence abuse, 
a rough-and-tumble, and probably a visit to the Kohima 
“ kacheri,” for the Angami is nothing if not litigious. 

Though no manuring of jhum land is ever attempted, 
manure in the form of cow-dung collected by the owners of 
cows outside (and inside) their houses is frequently applied 
to terraced fields, and cattle are often turned into the 
terraces to graze in the cold weather With the same end. 
In addition to manuring, the only other preparation of the 
fields for the crop consists of digging them over with the 
Angami spade, of which a description is given below, and, 
when the fields have been flooded, of puddling them. The 
flooding of the fields drowns the weeds already overturned 
in the surface soil, and when they have sufficiently decom- 
posed and the mud is weU puddled, the field is ready for 
transplantation. In the task of digging and puddling a 
man is usually helped by his friends or his kindred, he in 
his turn going to work on the fields of those who have helped 
him. The owner of the field on which work is being done 
is expected to provide those who come to work on his land 
with a meal at midday which is cooked in the small field- 
house which every owner of land erects. Meanwhile the 
seed paddy has been sown thickly on a patch of dry ground 
late in March or early in April, and the seedlings are ready 
for transplantation about the beginning of June. The 
seasons naturally vary in different villages according to the 
altitude and climate. At transplantation the seedlings are 
never planted in bunches, as in the plains, but separately 
i>y ones or twos. After transplantation the fields need 




cleaning two or three times — ^the usage varies in different 
villages, and as the grain begins to ripen scarecrows are put 
up. The varieties of scarecrows are legion and some of them 
very ingenious. Perhaps the commonest form is that of the 
human figure — occasionally a solid stuffed British-looking 
scarecrow on sticks, but usually made of basket work with 
a rag or two and a gourd for a head, and swinging on a string 
at the end of a bamboo. Basket-work hawks are also made, 
and a woven cane circle open at the centre is used, as well as 
other patterns of various sorts down to mere strings tied 
across the field, to which strips of cloth and bark are fastened. 
Some varieties of scarecrows are ingeniously contrived with 
bamboo clappers which keep up an incessant rapping when 
there is any wind, and perhaps the cleverest of all is an 
automatic scarecrow to be seen at Jessami, worked by 
water. A piece of bamboo, consisting of two segments with 
the node at the top of the upper segment cut off to admit 
water, is set up on a pivot consisting of a horizontal stick 
running through a hole in the bamboo just below the node 
in the middle. The whole is erected so that a bamboo pipe 
from a water channel runs into the upper segment. As 
this fills with water it tilts forward on the horizontal pivot, 
overbalances and empties itself, when the lower segment, 
which is longer and therefore heavier than the emptied top 
half, swings back to its original position and bangs hard 
upon a horizontal bamboo set in the ground at its foot. 
The upper segment then starts to refill and so keeps up a 
constant clatter by repeating the process every minute. 

The harvest is usually ready about the end of October and 
the first half of November, and is reaped with a saw-edged 
sickle. Usually the head only of the plant is severed and 
thrown into a basket on the bearer’s back, but sometimes 
the whole stalk is cut.^ 

^ The Sernas, alone of Naga tribes, strip the standing ear straight into 
the basket by hand. The reason given is that a Serna once slashed open 
his stomach, thus killing himself, when reaping with a dao, since when 
reaping has been done by hand. 

Among the Angamis it is genna to take fire into the fields at harvest, 
though the precise opposite is the case among the Rengmas. The Sernas 
and Lhotas consider it genna to take matches to the fields at harvest, 
though the firestick may be taken. 




Before it is brought up to the house the grain is trodden 
out of the ear by foot, and after being brought home for 
storage it is dried gradually in small quantities on bamboo 
mats in the sun, a process to which it is subjected at intervals 
until consumption. The rice when spread out is turned 
and shifted with a blunt rake called lhavahu. It is 
stored in the large baskets already described, and husked 
as required for use by pounding on the paddy husking 
bench, when the grain is separated from the husk by win- 
nowing on basket-work trays. The stalk of the rice is left 
standing until the whole crop has been cut. It is genna to 
cut the straw before all the grain has been harvested. 

The rice grown in wet rice-fields is of a number of varieties, 
some sorts being suitable to low and hot situations and others 
doing better in cold and high fields. The varieties differ 
also in the time taken to mature. 

The principal kinds of rice used in the Khonoma terraces 
are the following : “ Teverr (white), “ Zugarr (white ; 
only grown in cold situations), “ Mocha (white ; grown in 
hot situations), ‘‘ Perrhi ’’ (red ; hot situations), “ Tsore- 
nungo ’’ (red), ‘‘ Ngoba ” (red ; only sown in temperate 
situations and unsuited to extreme heat or cold), Zivi- 
chango '' (white), Thekwerr ’’ (white with black husk ; 
cold situations), Ngoseno ” (red) ; all these varieties are 
used for consumption in the ordinary way. “ Soppa ” 
(white ; hot situations), “ Mahrirr ” (red ; large grain), and 
“ Yeponya ” (similar to “ maJcrirr/' but small grain and 
very susceptible to wind) are grown particularly for the 
manufacture of rice beer, to which they are more suited 
than other grains. Two varieties, “ Nyaseno ” (white) and 
‘‘ Nyami ” (red), are grown in very small quantities for 
consumption as parched rice. 

For dry rice, terracing is not ordinarily employed, but 
when the hillside is very steep logs are placed at irregular 
intervals to keep the earth from slipping down hill. In 
some villages, notably Mozema, terraces are built for jhum 
almost as elaborate as those made for wet cultivation. 
These dry terraces are plentifully supplied with pollarded 
alders, which were doubtless saved when the fields were 




first cleared of jungle. A “ jhum ” field is cultivated for 
two successive years, when owing to the excessive multi- 
plication of weeds it is allowed to lie fallow for from five to 
fifteen years, according to the amount of land available for 
cultivation. It is usual to sow rice in a ‘‘ jhum ” which is 
newly cleared, following this crop by millet, maize, or Job’s 
tears in the second year, unless rice is sown again. 

Among Angamis ‘‘ jhum ” land is cleared by first felling 
the trees and then burning the low jungle and as much of 
the trunks of the ti^ees as possible. The land is then cleaned, 
and before sowing, the fresh weeds which may spring up 
again are cleaned away at least twice. After sowing, the 
land is cleaned from three to six times before reaping. The 
crop is ready in October before the rice in the wet fields is 
ripe. The principal kinds of rice grown in the dry fields 
round Khonoma are “ lakarr,'' kethorr,^" “ rihawil,'^ 
“ chahrau ” (white varieties grown in hot situations), 
‘‘ theheh ” (red ; hot situations), “ hetsorr ” (red ; cold 
situations), and “ mezharr*^ a white grain suited to cold 
situations and grown in wet terraces as well as in j hum- 

In addition to the main crop, whether of rice or of millet, 
other crops of an incidental nature are generally grown in 
small quantities and sprinkled here and there among the 
main crop. Little lines of Job’s tears, or occasional stalks 
of maize (when these do not constitute the principal crop), 
“ menitessa,” beans, oil seeds, gourds, cucumbers, chillies, 
spinaches, mustard, “ kachu,”^ etc., may be found scattered 
about, particularly near the field-houses or near the machans 
built on the hillside to scare the birds, and along the edges 
of the fields. Cotton and a species of jute used for making 
coarse cloth are grown in patches by some villages. 

Of what might be called natural crops, the principal is 
thatching grass, which is, in some villages with little jhum 
land, of great importance. It is protected from damage 
and encroachment, but not otherwise cultivated, and is 
usually village or clan property. Wood, including bamboo, 
is also preserved near the villages, and private property is 

1 Kachu — ^i.e., Oohcaaia antiquorum 




well recognised in it, plantations being highly valued and 
carefully looked after^ Pollarding is practised with a view 
to reducing to a minimum the destruction of trees, which 
are used not only as firewood, but for fencing fields. There 
is also a recognition of property in special trees, though they 
may grow on the land of another person — ^so much so that a 
dispute will arise as to the ownership of a tree which is 
actually growing on the ground of a third person not a party 
to the dispute. It is apparently enough for a man to say 
that he is preserving such and such a tree, and, provided 
that no one has previously set up a right to that tree, the 
tree becomes the property of the preserver, and he can claim 
damages for destruction or injury. This custom, generally 
speaking, is only applied to trees valuable for their timber 
for constructive purposes, and is not universal. Paths, 
streams, trees, and natural features of any sort may serve 
as landmarks, or there may be no landmark at all, while in 
the case of terraced fields the embankment of the field itself 
serves. When land is demarcated large stones are used, 
unless advantage is taken of water or some other natural 

The implements used in agriculture are (1) the axe (merre), 
described above ; (2) the spade or hoe (kejii), an implement 
made of a fiat spoon-shaped blade, the handle of which is 
boimd with thongs of cane or bamboo to a crooked stick, 
making an implement in the shape of an inverted V, the 
blade of which is about 6 to 8 inches broad in the broadest 
part ; (3) the mattock {sivu), a T-shaped wooden hammer, 
the head being about a foot or a foot and a half in length 
and the handle 3 to 4 feet : it is made both in one piece and 
in two ; (4) the rake (paro), made of a bamboo split at the 
end into four or five spikes which are bent at a right angle 
to the handle and bound with bamboo thongs and a cross- 
piece into this position ; (5) the hoe (saro)^ used as a hoe for 
jhum-fields by some of the Eastern Angami villages : it is 
made of a simple piece of bamboo bent into a small hoop, 
the crossed ends forming the handle, and the blade, if it 
may be so called, being formed by cutting away half the 
thickness of the bamboo, so as to make it more pliable and 

1. Kakk (/s(oo). 2. A\h: {’Siduir). :5 Hvndlk fuk rsiN(; axf 

BjLADJ': AS AH/JO {kirhch). 4 Kain hat {tfirrrt). o. Hoh 
{k(dzu). (). K\in CLOAK {}jcrrh(joh (ir altkru) 

\To laic n 78. 




to prevent breaking ; seven or eight of these may be used 
in a day : the Sernas use the same implement, while the 
Lhotas, Aos, and some of the Konyak tribes use one of 
exactly similar design but with an iron blade ; ^ (6) the sickle 
{zupfino), consisting of a light curved iron blade about a 
foot long set by a tang in a wooden handle, and having a 
rude saw edge. One other accompaniment of agriculture, 
for it can hardly be called an implement, needs mention. 
This is the stake and panjis called kethi-thedi, which is set 
up to mark jungle,, thatch, etc., chosen by some person or 
family for cutting, or, in an elaborated form, to preserve 
crops from the unlucky results of someone’s too favourable 
comments on their condition.^ In its simple form the 
kethi-thedi is just a cleft stake with two roughly pointed 
cross-pieces at right angles to one another like the points 
of the compass on a vane. In its more elaborate form it 
has a series of such cross-pieces, made of carefully pointed 
and trimmed bamboo tied one below the other in a bamboo 
upright, the top of which is split in four. 

The domestic animals of the ordinary Angami household 
are restricted to a few varieties. Though not the most 
numerous, the principal of these is the “ mithan ” (Bos 
frontalis). This magnificent animal is a form of wealth in 
which men invest what are for the Angamis large sums of 
money, but except for trading purposes and for consumption 
at feasts the mithan is of no particular value, and the breed- 
ing of mithan for trade is always a speculative undertaking, 
as losses from tiger, wild dog, and cattle diseases are con- 
siderable. The mithan varies in value according to size, 
length of horn, and colour, the colour preferred being black 
with four white stockings and a white blaze, which in point 
of fact is the predominant colour. Colour, however, would 
seem to tend to vary according to the method of keeping 
the mithan, for where mithan are allowed to roam at their 
will in the jungle and grazing lands round the village, black 

^ This iron-bladed hoe is subsequent to the wooden one. A similar 
wooden hoe is described and illustrated by Mr. S. E. Peal in his “ Visit to 
the Naga Hills,” J.A.S.B. 1872. 

* The Nagas ascribed the death of a very big dog of mine to the fact 
that it was so frequently talked about on account of its size. 




predominates. But in some of the Eastern Angami villages, 
where the mithan are usually kept tied up in front of the 
owner’s house, being supplied with fodder brought in by the 
owner and grazed in the keeping of a cowherd, black and 
yellow pied mithan are not uncommon. In the case of the 
unconfined mithan, the animals live almost in a wild state 
and are merely visited from time to time by their owner, 
to whose call they come in order to get salt, and when once 
accustomed to be given salt in a certain place they rarely stray 
very far. Females and yoimg males make excellent beef, and 
mithan milk, though not used by the Angami, is very rich. 

Cows are kept in large quantities for their meat and for 
sale, for the Angami, though by no means refusing milk 
when offered to him, does not care about it particularly, and 
never attempts to milk his cattle. The reason he gives is 
that as he has never done it he does not know how to do it. 
Occasionally one is told that it is genna to drink milk, but 
most Angamis take it readily. A separate cowshed is 
sometimes built for cattle near the owner’s house, but more 
often the cattle live in the porch and front part of the house 
itself. They are taken daily to grazing ground in the charge 
of a cow-herd, who is frequently a child, sometimes an idiot. 
In some villages a proper cow-herd is kept who does no other 
work, but gets two baskets of paddy per annum per cow 
kept from the owners of the cattle in his charge. Wooden 
cow-bells are tied to the necks of mithan and cows. This 
bell is made of a box cut from a single piece of wood or 
bamboo, and having one to three wooden tongues. 

In addition to mithan and kine, a very fine breed of 
hybrid cattle is kept, bred from cows by mithan bulls. 
These hybrids are usually black with a tan line down the 
back, and are fertile. Being less feral than the mithan and 
less domestic than the cow, they are particularly apt to 
haunt cultivated land and damage crops. 

Cattle are identified by their natural marks and by differ- 
ent ways of slitting and cropping the ears. If one beast 
kills another in a fight, both the living and the dead are 
divided between the two owners. This custom prevails in 
most Naga tribes. 




Pigs are kept by all but the very poorest Angamis. They 
are allowed to roam at will, and though regularly fed on 
paddy husks and the waste rice that remains as refuse after 
making rice beer, pick up the greater part of their substance 
by scavenging round the village. On pigs alone, of their 
livestock, do the Angamis practise castration. The extra- 
ordinary thing about this is that all the males are castrated, 
and that before they are more than three months old, by 
which time they are mature enough to have begotten off- 
spring. All Naga tribes seem to treat their pigs in the same 
way. At the time of castration the Angamis also slit the 
ears and dock the tails of their young boars. ^ 

Dogs are kept under much the same circumstances as 
pigs, except, perhaps, that they are better fed. They share 
with the pigs the scavenging of the village, and like them 
are used for food. Dogs are eaten in great numbers at the 
Sekrengi genna, probably on account of a belief in the medi- 
cinal properties of dogs’ flesh. The eating of dogs at the 
Sekrengi is not compulsory. They are eaten much as 
turkeys are eaten at Christmas in England, as a matter of 
custom. Dogs used for hunting are treated much better 
than the ordinary cur. They are, it is true, sometimes sold 
for food when past work, but are never killed or eaten by 
the man who has trained or kept them for hunting purposes, 
and when they die a natural death are buried with a cloth, 
in recognition of the services they have rendered their 
owners. Indeed a man who kills a hunting dog has to leave 
the village for five days, and on the day of his departure and 
again on the day of his return the whole village observes 
penna, A genna of this sort was observed in Jotsoma in 
1916. Hunting dogs are not of any distinct breeds, but an 
attempt is sometimes made to ensure that both sire and dam 
are of a hunting strain, and hunting dogs will in any case 
usually be found to be out of a hunting bitch, as the usual 
method of training a puppy is to take it hunting with its 
dam, from whom it learns what is expected of it. It is 

^ No Angami ever attempts to drive a pig. When he wishes to transport 
it he straps it to a bamboo frame and carries it on his back. Little pigs, 
like fowls, are carried in small cane cages. 





seldom, however, suflSciently disciplined to be of much use 
until it is three years old, and is usually considered at its 
best at about five years, and begins to get too old for work 
at seven. Good hunting dogs are never punished, and are 
distinguished from the ordinary village dog by their fear- 
lessness of men. All male dogs have their tails docked and 
their ears cropped close to the head. Bitches do not have 
their ears cropped, but their tails are sometimes, not always, 
docked. No clear reason is given for either docking or 
cropping. Some say that the ears of the dogs are cropped 
so as to distinguish them from the bitches. Some say that 
they crop dogs’ ears merely because they are males, just as 
the ears of male children are bored in several places but 
those of girls only in the lobe, and in the Eastern Angami 
villages at the top. Others say that if the ears are not 
cropped they are a hindrance to dogs working in the jungle, 
but this hardly explains why all dogs have their ears cropped 
and not bitches, although the latter are equally used for 
hunting. It is to be noticed in this connection that the 
ears of pigs, and occasionally of cats, are slit or bored in the 
case of males. No reason at all is given by Angamis for the 
docking of tails except custom.^ 

Cats are not kept in anylihing like large numbers, but 
there are usually a few in most villages, and their possession 
is sometimes valued. They are subject to certain super- 
stitions, and it is usually regarded as “ genna ” to sell cats 
for gain, though a man transferring a cat to another man is 
at liberty to receive the actual amount which in his estima- 
tion has been spent by him on the keep of the cat.* It is 
not, however, at any rate in most Angami villages, forbidden 
to kill cats, and they are sometimes, but rarely, eaten as 

^ On these points the forthcoming monograph on the Serna Nagas may 
be referred to. The distinction between the male and female is probably 
to prevent the latter being chased and killed (for the pot) by mistake. 

* The Bantu of East Africa have a saying, “It is forbidden to eat the 
wages (or * hire ’) of a cat,” and never buy or sell cats, and the Ama-Xosa 
of ^uth Africa say that “ a cat is never sold, but always given away ” 
(Folklore f vol. xxvi.. No. 1). It seems possible that the Angami 
respect for cats is connected with the services rendered in the destruction 
of rats, whose depredations are much feared (see Part IV, the Thezukepu 




food, though this was formerly “ genna.” It is not now 
usual to kill cats for any “ magico-religious ’’ purpose. 
A case of one such killing did once come to the notice of the 
writer. A man of Nerhema killed a black cat in the village 
path (the usual place for such ceremonies) with a view to 
his recovery from illness. The village found the body lying 
in the path on their way to their fields later in the morning, 
and were exceedingly disturbed. They observed a “ genna ’’ 
that day, returning to the village instead of going on to 
their work, and, although the sacrifice of the cat proved to 
have been made at the suggestion of the village priest 
{pitm), punished the sacrificer by keeping the non-working 
day on account of his action, a proceeding which would 
perhaps cause his death, saying that such a thing had never 
been heard of and was contrary to all custom and tradition. 
Cats, however, used to be sacrificed at the making of peace 
between hostile villages, and are still employed as a sacrifice 
in a genna for the cursing of an unknown thief. 

The fowls kept in all Angami villages are usually smallish 
and in type resemble the local jungle fowl, which is of the 
red, not the grey, variety. In some of the Chakroma villages 
where jungle fowl are plentiful, the domestic fowls are said 
to inter-breed occasionally with the wild ones. Fowls are 
fed by their owners, not liberally, but enough to keep them 
from straying to different houses. They also aid the pigs 
and dogs in their scavenging operations. 

Bees {mehwi) are kept by a good many Angamis. They 
are hived in a broken pot, a cracked gourd, or some similar 
receptacle placed in the roof, and the honey is taken either 
by smoking the bees to a stupor, or after smearing the hands 
and arms with honey, when the bees are said not to sting. 
The variety of bee which is usually kept {kevil) does not, 
however, give a very severe sting, and may sometimes be 
taken in a wild state without any aid but a dao to cut the 
tree down, and with absolute immunity to the robber 
provided the day is cold and misty. The variety known as 
kwidi, a large dark blue hornet with a red head, is kept for 
the sake of its grubs, which are eaten with great relish. 
It is caught alive by fastening a bit of carrion (a dead locust 

Q 2 



will do) to the end of a switch which is raised to the hole in 
some tree which these hornets frequent either for food or 
for the purpose of getting building material. A hornet at 
once starts to feed on the meat, which is then lowered and 
the insect carefully caught by the waist in a bit of grass 
bent double, which is tied and stuck into the ground until 
all in the tree have been captured one by one. Bits of white 
pith are tied to them, by means of which they are followed 
to their nest after they have been released, one by one 
as the one before is lost sight of, and allowed to fly 
home. When found, the nest is taken and placed with the 
hornets in a hole in the earth somewhere near the village, 
where they accommodatingly remain, provided the queen 
is in the nest. The sting of this variety is most severe. 

In addition to the livestock mentioned above, Angamis 
occasionally keep goats, but it is the exception rather than 
the rule, and very rarely they keep buffaloes obtained from 
Nepali graziers. In one or two of the villages near the 
plains ducks may be seen now and then, probably recent 
purchases merely awaiting the stewpot. 

The large number of guns, principally Tower muskets, 
which were dispersed over the neighbouring hills after the 
Manipur rebellion of 1891 and the consequent dissolution 
of the Manipuri army, has very considerably altered the 
himting practices of the Angamis. So many of these guns 
found their way into Naga villages, and so many remain in 
spite of very numerous confiscations, that a Tower musket 
is always known in the hills as a Manipuri gun."’ Some 
villages possess from thirty to forty of such guns, with the 
result that game is nowadays hardly obtainable in the Angami 
coimtry. At the present time, in all villages where guns are 
fairly numerous, what hunting is done is done by owners 
(or borrowers) of guns, who go into the jungle and stalk 
their game, at which they are extremely clever. An Angami 
can move through jungle as silently as a leopard. It is 
generally held to be genna for a man to eat game killed (by 
whatever means) by himself until he has killed 100 or 160 
head, excluding little birds and quite small mammals. It 
need hardly be said that this rule is not too rigidly observed. 




In any case it is the huntsman himself who keeps the score. 
This rule holds good not only in the Khonoma and Kohima 
group, but in the Kezama villages as well. In the more easterly 
villages, where guns are still absent or very scarce, the old 
method of hunting is still occasionally followed, and the hunt 
is on this wise : A valley is chosen to which deer have recently 
been marked down. It may be two miles long and a mile 
broad. The whole male population turns out to take part. 
The men are armed with spears, boys with sharpened bam- 
boos. Stops are put aU round the sides of the valley, with 
stronger pickets where depressions lead over the hill into the 
next valley, and the lower end of the valley is stopped by 
more pickets. The owners of hunting dogs enter the valley 
at the top, and the dogs start giving tongue as soon as they 
light upon a fresh scent. The dogs follow the scent down the 
valley at their top speed, yapping vociferously, while their 
owners cheer them on from behind wdth a deep call almost 
like a laugh. This cheering is an important item, as if not 
continued most dogs are apt to give up as soon as they become 
tired. The yapping of the dogs informs the pickets and 
stops along the sides of the valley of the whereabouts of the 
game and the direction it is taking, for the thick jungle 
prevents anything from being seen. As the barking of the 
dogs goes down the valley, the stops who are passed by it 
move down too, taking fresh positions lower down. The 
deer almost invariably tries sooner or later to cross from the 
valley it is in to the next valley parallel to it. Then it is 
that the spearmen along the ridge get their chance. From 
the barking of the dogs they know that the deer is coming 
up their side of the valley (the passes which are usually 
followed by hunted deer crossing to the next valley are 
well known), and by the time the animal breaks cover there 
are plenty of spears waiting for it. If it comes within a 
range of twenty yards of the spears the hunt for that parti- 
cular deer is at an end, for a running deer at twenty yards is 
a fair target for a Naga spear. If, however, the deer is 
missed or only wounded, it breaks back to the valley again 
to emerge at the lower end or perhaps up the other end or 
lower down the same side. In any case there are probably 




several spears waiting for it, and its chance of ultimate 
escape is a poor one. Serow, wild dog, and bear are hunted 
in the same way. In the case of tiger and leopard, shields 
are sometimes carried by those who hunt them, and usually 
a V-shaped stockade is built into which the animal is driven 
and in which it is speared. Similar methods of hunting are 
also followed on a smaller scale by small hunting parties of 
from five or six to a dozen or more, who go out with dogs 
and kin their quarry in the same way as when the whole 
village turns out, by an accurate knowledge of the habits of 
the game and the line it wiU take when hunted. Before 
annexation elephants were legitimate game and, owing to 
the quantity of fiesh they yielded as well as to the value of 
their tusks for armlets, were prized above all animals of the 
chase. The use of pitfalls was, of course, common, and 
though forbidden is still indulged in in out of the way corners 
of the district. These pitfalls differ only in size from those 
made for bison, serow, and deer — large holes from six to 
sixteen feet deep with long and stout panjies stuck all over 
the bottom and a covering of thin branches, leaves, and 
earth spread carefully over the top. Not a few fatal acci- 
dents have happened to men hunting in the jungle who have 
come on such pitfalls unawares. But elephant spearing, if 
the accounts given by Khonoma and Samaguting may be 
trusted, must have been a sport almost more exhilarating 
than head-hunting itself. The method followed was to 
detach an elephant, the big tusker, of course, for preference, 
from a herd and drive or follow him to some part of the 
jungle open enough to engage him, but having enough big 
trees to afford shelter from his charges. Here the elephant, 
already irritated and perhaps wounded, would suddenly see 
before him right in his path a Naga dancing up and down, 
shouting defiance, and spinning his spear. As the enraged 
animal charged the figure would speedily vanish (probably 
up a tree), but imlooked for spears would take him in fiank 
and rear. As he turned on his new assailants, spears and 
shouting would come from another direction. And so in 
time the huge beast, probably more feared by the Angami 
than any other wild animal^ would be speared to death. 




Nowadays, however, elephants are usually killed by means 
of an ordinary gun with an iron barbed arrow instead of a 
bullet — ^a weapon probably borrowed from the Kukis. 

But whatever the excitement of hunting — and Nagas are 
no less sensible than Europeans to the attractions of the 
chase for its own sake — trapping is probably a more profitable 
method of filling the Angami larder. Pitfalls have been 
described already ; simple fall traps are also used, a log 
being weighted with heavy stones and placed over a run in 
such a manner that the animal when passing underneath 
displaces a stick which releases the string by which the log 
is suspended. The jungle on each side of the run is also 
fenced so as to induce the animal to take the required path. 
This sort of trap is usually employed for the smaller animals, 
otters for instance, though it is also sometimes used for 
serow and barking-deer {Cervulus muntjac), while for wild 
cats especially such a trap is baited by a live mouse tied by 
a string to a peg in a hole in the side of a hillock, the fall 
being set in front of the bait. Snares are used very largely, 
being set at the edges of the rice-fields and in the jungle for 
birds and animals of various sorts. In the autumn numbers 
of woodcock and pheasant are caught in springes and brought 
into Kohima for sale, while fields may be sometimes seen 
surrounded with a low hedge in which little runs have been 
made for rats, snares being set inside each hole. The horn- 
biU is also snared, a bright red fruit, which is a favourite 
with the bird, being placed over the snare at the top of a 
tree. Snares made by the Angamis are of two or three 
sorts, but the commonest {Kesheh) is made of a small cane 
triangle, one side of which is double, and which has for its 
base a strip of bamboo extending two or three feet beyond 
the double side of the triangle. From the end of this bamboo 
slat to the foot of the double side is a cane or fibre thong 
containing a wooden spike. To set the snare the bamboo is 
bent like a bow and the near end of the thong gathered in 
a loop inside the triangle through the double side. The 
point of the spike rests on the apex, and a string, with a 
little peg attached, runs from the thick end of the spike 
to the double side against which the peg is held in place by 




a stem of grass or thin twig running across the loop of twine 
inside the triangle. When the twig is displaced the bow 
is sprung and the leg of the bird or the neck of the rat is 
held between the thong and the double side of the triangle. 
A trap almost identical with this one is found in Borneo 
(see figures I. and 11. on plate opposite). 

Another snare, also used for small game, consists of a 
notched wooden peg (a) which is driven into the ground, and 
of a slip-noose of shaved and tapered cane (6) left fairly 
stout at the butt end, though pliant enough at the noose 
end. To this butt a string (c) is fastened which is tied to a 
bough bent down as a spring. The cane is then caught back 
in the notched peg, from which it is freed at once by the 
struggles of the victim, which is whipped up off the ground 
and suspended by its neck beyond possibility of escape 
(see figure III. on plate opposite). 

Running nooses {kipreh) are sometimes set for deer and 
other animals, and their feeding grounds are “ panjied,’’ as 
barking-deer may frequently be taken in this way at the 
edges of rice-fields. Bird-lime (ketsa) for catching small 
birds is made from the gum of trees called pri and naku^ 
and spread along the boughs of any tree to which birds 
may be expected to resort in any numbers for feeding 

While on the question of hunting, the taking of omens 
should be mentioned. The ordinary method used by the 
Angamis when any sort of hunt is to be undertaken is that 
of slicing a twig on to the ground or a flat stone and watching 
the fall of the slices, the method of interpretation apparently 
frequently varying with different persons. These omens 
are always taken, and occasionally an unfavourable result 
will deter a hunting party from further proceedings, but as 
a rule too much faith is not placed in them, as almost any 
Angami will admit. Probably they are only believed in 
when performed by someone who has gained a reputation 
for producing correct results. Every Angami dreams before 
going a-hunting and believes most heartily in the truth of 
such prognostications, and, at any rate with certain dreamers, 
these hunting dreams have a remarkable way of coming true. 

The training and treatment of hunting dogs have been 

Kk^hkit. 1, Thk snahk t;nsti{1/n<j I! 'Pjik snake set 

a, h, <h<' triaii»;I(‘, f> Ix'iuj? tlio <l(>uhl(‘ si(l(‘ iind c 1 )k‘ bamboo 
hlafc foTiiiniij; Ili(‘ bas(‘. 

(I, d, tlio I [long. 

r, r, 1 bo \v<)()(l<'n s|H k(‘. 

/‘, lbs pcfj;. 

Tlu' (lotted Ime .... in Fiji: II represcad s the t\vig In' whicli 
tb(‘ |)(*gy IS ko|)f. in place. 

Fig. III. 

f To face //. 88 



already described, but it should be added that the owner 
of a hunting dog which takes part in a hunt is always entitled 
to take the dog^s share, usually a hindquarter or part of a 
hindquarter of the game, and part of this share is always 
given to the dog. The man first wounding the animal gets 
the head, though among the Lhotas this goes to the dog’s 
owner. The names given to hunting dogs usually have 
reference to the dog’s colour, and one hears dogs called by 
such names as “ Black and White,” White Collar ” 

C voha ”), Red ’un ” kemerriye ”), or Wolf ” C ^oki ” = 
the wild red dog). Sometimes, however, names denoting 
qualities, such as ‘"Growler” (“je^Ao”), are met with, as 
well as “nerc ” == “Ear-cut.” Among the Sernas hunting 
dogs are frequently called after some chief, though the 
chief whose name is chosen regards this as a very serious 
insult if he comes to hear of it ; but the Angamis do not seem 
to do this at all. 

Hunting rights are usually admitted to be conterminous 
within the land belonging to the village, subject to the 
right to pursue a wounded animal on to the land of another 
village, but there is no very strict custom on the question. 

The most interesting method of catching fish employed Fishing, 
is by the use of “ poison.” But though very common among 
most other Nagas, it is only practised by a very few of the 
Angamis. The “ poison ” consists of the roots, stem, leaves, 
or fruit of certain plants, the juice of which when beaten 
into the water intoxicates or stupefies or even kills the fish. 

The various tribes use several different poisons. The Ao 
prefers the fruit of a particular tree, the Chang uses walnut 
leaves ; but all tribes use the root and stem of a certain 
reddish creeper. This is cut into sections of about 2 feet 
long, split up and frayed out, and done up into small bundles, 
in which condition it is brought to the river. There long 
sort of benches are built across the river of stones and logs. 

On these the bundles of fibres are laid, beaten into pulp, and 
dipped from time to time in the water. As the juice of the 
creeper impregnates the water the fish become excited, 
leaping at first as though merely in play, but many of them 
coming in to the bank, where they can easily, be captured 
by a net or by a blow from a dao. Some of them become 




quite stupefied, while bottom-feeding fish and the fresh-water 
shark appear to die. The men and women who are not 
beating wait lower down the river at shallows or other 
convenient places, and after the poison ” has once begun 
to take effect the women and children catch a large number 
of the smaller fish among the stones. This method is 
practised by some of the Chakroma villages. Among the 
Lhotas it is regarded as unlucky for women to come to a 
fishing of this sort, but the women are not only allowed to 
come, but take an active part in the fishings of Angamis 
and Sernas. One common method of fishing is to dam the 
river so as to leave half of it dry, when the fish are taken by 
hand. The dam in such cases is made of stone, sand, earth, 
or any handy material. Something approaching a ceremony 
usually precedes ‘‘ poisoning operations, but this cere- 
mony, in the case of the Angamis, amounts to little more 
than the flourishing of daos and a great deal of “ ho-ho-ing 
by the men as they approach the river. ^ Fishing with rod 
and line is also practised, the hook being home-made, of a 
piece of bent iron or brass wire (old umbrella wires do excel- 
lently well), and the line being made of fibre attached to the 
end of a stick, and worms, grasshoppers, or crickets used as 
bait. Crabs, fresh-water shrimps, prawns and periwinkles, 
and several kinds of small fish are taken by hand among the 
stones of the smaller streams and caught with the aid of a 
basket-work tray in the wet rice terraces. Basket traps like 
eel or lobster traps are also regularly used, being placed 
with their mouths up stream, as a rule, and forming openings 
in a light dam or fence which make the entrance of the fish 
into the trap more likely. In and round Kohima the Angamis 
have taken to cast-nets, but the use of these has been 
acquired from Kukis or Gurkhalis or other foreigners and is 
not indigenous. The cast-nets used are circular, weighted 
at the edges with lead, and drawn in by a string attached to 
the centre. 

Rights of fishery are usually recognised as ending with 

^ The Lhotas draw their daos and challenge the river as though to a 
contest of strength. The Sernas appear to do the same, but do not seem 
clear about it. 




the boundary of the village lands, streams flowing between 
two villages being fished in by both ; but fishing is very far 
from playing the same part in Angami life that it does in 
the life of the Sernas, Lhotas, and Aos, and rights to such 
poor fishing as there is are not regarded with the same 
jealousy, as a rule. The fishing rights over wet rice terraces, 
which contain a number of small fish in the rains, are even 
open to the village though the land is privately owned. 

It is, however, regarded as theft, and a somewhat serious 
form of theft, to tike fish that have collected in special 
holes made for them by the owner of the terrace. Here 
and there a small patch of three feet or so in diameter is left 
unplanted and a hollow scooped in the mud. Small fish 
collect here and are regarded, while in the hoUow, as exclu- 
sively the property of the owner of the field. 

The staple food of the Angami may fairly be said to be Food, 
rice, but meat plays a much more important part in the 
Angami menu than it does in that of the rice-eating peoples 
of the plains. There are very few sorts of meat that the 
Angami will not eat.^ He does not, it is true, eat worms, 
but there are few forms of animal life that are on a higher 
plane than this that come amiss to him. Beef, pork, and 
chicken are, no doubt, his commonest meat foods, and these 
are supplemented by mithan and dog on occasions, and 
even by cats, while all wild animals and birds are eaten, 
even crows. Kites and hawks are esteemed as a delicacy 
(their flesh is said to be ‘‘ very sweet and of four-footed 
game the elephant, though now rarely obtained, is perhaps 
the most coveted. Except his tusks and skull, all of him 
is eaten. His bones are buried or hung up in the house and 
pieces cut or scraped off them from time to time. In this 
way they will last for years. Together with all the intes- 
tines, as in the case of all other animals, the skin too is eaten, 
unless this is wanted for the manufacture of a war shield. 
Carrion is eaten without compunction, and elephant flesh 

^ Although frogs form an item in the diet of all Naga tribes, 1 have met 
several quite ** jungly ” Nagas of different tribes who really felt such an 
aversion and disgust at the idea of even touching a frog, snake, or similar 
reptile, as one is apt to associate with supersensitive civilised people. 




even when almost entirely decomposed, though meat is 
always preferred fresh. The idea that the properties of 
animals eaten are liable to pass to the eater is the cause of 
certain flesh being genna to young men — ^for instance the 
flesh of a black forktail with a white head is eaten by the 
old men, but never touched by the young men for fear that 
they will become prematurely bald if they eat it. It is 
possible that the same idea partly underlies the prohibition 
as to tigers’ and leopards’ flesh, which may never be eaten 
by women. It may not be cooked inside the house, but 
may be eaten by men if they cook it in the porch or outside 
the house, and provided that they do not take it anywhere 
near the hearth or the women’s beds, and cook it in separate 
pots kept for the purpose of cooking such food.^ The 
Angamis prohibit the flesh of the he-goat to their women, 
for fear that they will acquire the lecherous propensities of 
the goat, but in the case of tigers it must be remembered 
that the tiger is regarded as closely related to man, the 
terhoma (spirit), the tiger and the man having in the begin- 
ning been the three sons of one mother, and when a tiger is 
killed the village priest proclaims a non-working day (penna) 
for the whole village ‘‘for the death of an elder brother.” 
In the case, however, of food eaten by the old men 
and not by the young, it is necessary to distinguish 
between that which the young men eschew in order 
to avoid acquiring the properties or supposed properties of 
the food, and that which they merely refuse to eat because 
it is distasteful. An Angami was asked if he would eat 
mouldy rice. “ Certainly not,” said he. “ Not if you were 
starving ? ” “ No.” “ What do you do with mouldy 

rice, then ? Throw it away ? ” “ Oh, no, we give it to the 
old men.” The same reply was given when asked what he 
did with rotten eggs, while the flesh of some malodorous 
animals appears to be utilised in the same way. Snakes, 
by the way, are not eaten by the Angamis, except the 
python, which, however, is, generally speaking, only found 
near the plains and would probably be refused by an Angami 
living in the high hills and not accustomed to eat it. The 

^ All food kenna to women is cooked in these pots. 




other Naga tribes, except the Change perhaps, are far from 
being as omnivorous as the Angami in the matter of flesh. 

When cooking, meat and vegetables are usually cooked 
together, while the rice is cooked separately. Millet and 
Job’s tears, though forming the staple food of many Nagas 
in cold and high ranges, are seldom used by the Angami 
except for making rice beer. Chillies form an indispensable 
ingredient in every Angami meal and are cooked together 
with the meat and vegetables. Of the latter, the principal 
ones cultivated are T>eans of one or two different varieties, 
usually climbers, tomatoes, a variety of spinach, “ karela,” 
and pumpkins, of which the young leaves as well as the 
fruit are eaten. Gourds are grown principally as utensils, 
but are also sometimes eaten. A very large number of 
wild plants are used as vegetables — various species of wild 
spinach, the leaves of the wild ‘‘ karela,” wild yams, which 
are largely eaten in times of scarcity, though, thanks to the 
terraced rice fields, scarcity is seldom felt in the Angami 
country, wild turmeric, sorrel, nettle-tops, ginger, and many 
varieties of ferns and fungoids. Flesh foods have been 
already mentioned ; of the smaller fry the grubs of the large 
blue hornet and of the white ant, the larger grasshoppers, 
frogs, small crabs, fresh-water snails, and even dragon-flies ^ 
may be noted. One popular food, and one in which a con- 
siderable trade is carried on with the plains, is the highly 
odoriferous small dried fish imported in some quantity from 
Cachar and Sylhet to the Kohima bazar. These “ smell- 
fish ” are sometimes made locally also. Blood, when eaten 
alone, is boiled in water to prevent its sticking to the pot and 
eaten as a sort of soup. Otherwise it is kept raw and eaten 
gradually, mixing it with other food. Marrow is extracted 
from the bones when raw, as it easily comes out in that 
state. Large pieces of meat are smoke-dried and in this 
condition will last for years. When required, pieces are 
cut off and boiled. Maize is roasted — ^the whole head, and 

^ Dragon-flies are caught for food by children, who hold out long canes 
with gummed ends over water or swampy places. The dragon-flies 
circling round the pool settle on the gum and are caught one by one in 
appreciable numbers. 




a sort of unleavened bread is sometimes made from rice 
pounded into flour, but the almost invariable way of pre- 
paring all other food is by cutting up and boiling with salt 
and chillies, rice being cooked separately. Bits of meat are 
toasted on wooden spits, but genuine roasting is unknown. 
Food is served on large wooden dishes from which those 
present help themselves with their fingers, there usually 
being a dish to every two or three persons, the rice and the 
curry being served together. Naga food is not palatable 
to a European, if only for the excessive amount of chillies 
which are mixed with it. The Naga palate delights in this 
sort of heat, and an Angami may be often seen chewing chillies 
or raw ginger root for pleasure. Pickled bamboo is also 
very popular. It is made by cutting up and pounding the 
young shoots of the bamboo. These are then steeped by 
being placed in a basket, weighted with stones, and drenched 
with water (which is drawn off and consumed as vinegar) 
and finally spread out to dry. The pickling is then complete 
and the product is cooked with curry or eaten raw. All 
day between meals, when he is not at work in the fields or 
out hunting, the Angami eats appetisers and thirst-raisers 
of Naga beans roasted or boiled and mixed up with salt and 
an inordinate amount of chillies. This appetiser he carries 
about in a little dish or miniature basket held in the fingers 
of the hand, on the palm of which he holds the bamboo mug 
containing his “ zu'' Sometimes, instead of this, he nibbles 
a lump of Naga salt. 

The following are the principal food gennas observed in 
Khonoma : — 

Oenna to womm. 

(1) The flesh of animals killed by wild beasts. 

(2) The flesh of monkeys and all tree-living animals 
(birds excepted).^ 

The reason given for these two gennas is that it is the 
woman who gets the paddy for household consumption 
from the paddy baskets where it is stored, and that if she 

^ The prohibitions vary from village to village . In J otsoma, for instance , 
women may not eat hawks or things killed by hawks, for the same reason 
as monkeys are prohibited in Khonoma. 




indulges in the foods named the consumption of paddy will 
become extravagant and the store quickly used up. 

(3) The he-goat — ^because of his libidinous propensities, 
which it is undesirable that women should acquire. 

(4) The kite — ^because their livers will swell, if they eat 
it, like that of the kite, and because they wiU want to seize 
upon and bite living things. 

Oenna to children. 

(1) The brains of cows, pigs, dogs, or other animals. 

(2) The kite, because its consumption will make them 
quick to anger and bad-tempered. 

(3) A number of insects. 

One of these — ^the edible spider — ^is tabued because the 
eyes of children might be affected by eating it and closed up 
as though by cobwebs. 

The following foods are eaten by the aged but are not eaten 
by young persons : — 

(1) The white-headed forktail — ^because the eater will 
become bald or grey prematurely. 

(2) The bodies of the young of domestic animals born 

The latter are eaten by the aged provided they have no 
children or young relations living in the house with them, 
and therefore, probably, liable to acquire the propensity of 
having offspring born to them dead. 

(3) The flesh of animals killed at the funeral of a seshoma, 
i.e., a victim of sesho, or unnatural death — death, that is, 
by suicide, inflicted by a tiger, or in child-birth ^—probably, 
if not certainly, for a similar reason. 

The flesh of certain animals, though there is no prohibition 
on their consumption, is regarded as being unclean — e.g., 

^ Such a person is said in the Ungua Jranca Assamese of the Naga Hills 
to have died ** apdtia,” and in most tribes drowning and death by a fall 
from a tree are regarded as **apdtia.” They are probably so regarded 
in some Angami villages, but not in Khonoma, where, however, an extra 
ceremony is performed for such deaths which are regarded as somewhat 
analogous to aeaho. 

Among the Sernas a man who has fallen from a tree may be prevented 
from dying “ apdtia ” by pouring water or by merely spitting into his 
mouth before he expires. The Chang tribe resort to the same expedient. 


that of monkeys, crows, and miscellaneous birds “ whose 
flesh is of unknown quality.*’ These are not eaten by those 
who have performed the Satae (Zache, Zhatho) genna. 
Opinions, however, vary as to what flesh is to be included in 
this list. Dogs and frogs are sometimes mentioned. It is 
genna for a hika kepfilma ” or man who has done the 
Liahii genna (see Part IV.) to eat chickens. His wife may not 
eat them either, though other members of the household 
may do so. A Kemovo ” is not allowed to eat any of the 
game which it is customary to present to him ; he divides 
it up between the members of his kindred. 

There are no traditions of cannibalism ever having been 
practised by the Angami themselves,^ but there are stories 
of the existence of a tribe somewhere to the north-east of 
the present Angami country by which cannibalism is or was 
practised. The Sernas actually give a name to their village, 
speaking of its inhabitants as Murromi.” This village, 
they say, is situated beyond the Yachumi villages of Kiekho 
and Mezachi. The Angamis speak of these cannibals as 
“ Retsoma,” the Lhotas as “ Miriri.” They are said to 
feed up their victims on fattening food and, as in the Solomon 
Islands, to break their bones while they are still alive, 
killing them when fat. They are credited also with various 
magical practices. 

Meals are generally taken three times a day — ^in the 
early morning, at midday, and in the evening, but snacks 
are frequently taken in between, while zu is drunk aU day 
long. When going to work the midday meal is taken wrapped 
up in plaintain leaf and eaten in the fields. Before a meal 
a man frequently rinses his hands in water, but this is by 
no means invariably done. Wooden dishes are washed out 
more or less after use, but the earthen cooking-pots are 
only rinsed with a little water poured into the bottom. It 
is thought that too much washing is apt to cause breakages, 
an attitude reminiscent of, though perhaps more reasonable 
than, that attributed by a seventeenth century traveller to 

^ It is reported, however, that at the time of Mr. Damant*s death and 
the consequent punitive expedition some young men of Khonoma tasted 
the flesh of a British officer because it looked so good to eat. 


the people of Edinburgh, who never scoured their pewter 
for fear it should wear out the quicker. 

There seems to be no particular etiquette with regard to 
the entertainment of guests at meals. 

The drink of the Aiigami is rice beer. Indeed it is more Drink, 
than a drink, it is almost the staple article of consumption, 
the staif of life, and might be reckoned more appropriately 
as food rather than drink, only if it were so classified 
there would scarcely be anything left that could be called 
drink, as the Angami only drinks water in the last resort. 

“ Modhu,” or rice beer {zu), is of three varieties, “ pita 
modhu,” called in Angami zu-thoh (= “liquor proper’’), 

“ rohi ” (dzii-zu), and “ Saka modhu ” (zn-tseh). The 
process of making zti-thoh is as follows : — 

First the rice is pounded, then put to soak for about an 
hour. It is then put to dry for two or three hours and 
pounded again. After this it is mixed into a vat with cold 
water and left to stand for two to five days, according to the 

Dzii’ZU is made in a different way altogether, and is a 
very much more powerful drink. Rice is cooked as though 
for food. It is then cooled by being spread out in a winnow- 
ing tray. After this the yeast is pounded and mixed with 
it, and the whole mixture, which is a wet one, is put in a 
basket lined with leaves, and leaves are put over the top of 
it. It is left thus until the smell indicates that fermentation 
is complete. The liquid is then allowed to exude, or is 
pressed, out of the basket, a process which takes place 
slowly, as the fermented rice may be kept three weeks or 

When the dzil-zu has all been drawn off in this way, 
water, either hot or cold, is poured through the rice, making 
the infused beer known as zu-tseh. This is usually drunk 
cold by the Angamis, though most other tribes drink a 
similarly made beverage hot. It is rather more powerful 
than the very mild “ pita modhu ” without having the 
positively spirituous strength of “ rohi.” 

Distilled liquor, zuharo, is made by one or two villages, 
notably Khonoma, which have learnt the art from Manipur. 







Wet rice as prepared for dzu-zu is placed in a pot on the 
fire. Over that a second vessel is placed with a hole or 
holes in the bottom. Inside this the third vessel, neces- 
sarily a small one, is put, while a fourth full of cold water 
is put on the top of the second. The steam, rising though 
the holes, condenses and collects on the rounded bottom of 
the upper vessel and drips back from its centre into the small 
receptacle inside that into which the steam passes. 

The yeast used for making rice beer is sometimes bought 
in cakes from Manipur. It may also be made from several 
jungle plants, but the way in which it is ordinarily made 
by Angamis is from paddy, which has been made to sprout 
by soaking in warm water or warming when damp before a 
fire. The paddy in this condition with sprouts of an inch 
or so is pounded up and used as yeast. 

Each family brews its own rice beer, which is made almost 
daily to keep pace with an unceasing consumption. It 
does not last very long in any of its forms and in hot weather 
turns sour almost at once. Although most Angamis will 
readily accept milk offered to them, none milk for them- 
selves, nor do they show the least desire to obtain milk 
under ordinary circumstances. 

In drinking it is de rigueur to set aside something for 
whatever spirit is concerned. Either a finger is dipped in 
the cup and touched on the forehead as in Khonoma, or a 
little of the drink is tipped on to the floor, or both offerings 
are made. This formality does not seem very definitely 
connected with any particular deity who can be named. 
If any definite spirit is associated with it, it is perhaps a 
man’s own ropfil^ who might be described as combining the 
characteristics of a familiar demon, a guardian angel, and 
the notion of a man’s individual destiny. 

Although not a few substances are used by the Angamis 
as medicines, magico-religious ceremonies form the chief 
antidote for ills of all sorts. Panjies are used freely, being 
put up in a split bamboo so as to point in all directions,^ and 
also being stuck in singly over the door. When this is done 

^ This instrument is caUed kethi-thedi and is used for various similar 




a fire is also frequently lighted in the doorway, and faces, 
made out of bamboo bark or some such material, are stuck 
up on each side of the door and above it, particularly in the 
case of infectious diseases.^ Sacrifices are performed for 
illness with fowls or pigs. In the former case the fowl’s 
head is cut off with a dao in the middle of the village path, 
and the village burier places both head and body in the path 
and leaves them there. Fowls are also killed in this way by 
a man who has had an unusually heavy sleep. * For pains 
in the heart or chest a live fowl is impaled on a stake in the 
middle of the road, a purpose for which half-grown chickens 
are usually used. When a pig is sacrificed its tongue, nose, 
ears, tail, and feet are cut off and placed outside the village 
in the path, while small pieces of the animal’s flesh are given 
to the “ Kenwvo,'' and to the First Reaper and First Sower, 
etc. In cases of a lasting illness a man digs where there is 
no water visible on the surface until he finds water. This 
he fences over. He then kills an unblemished cock, washes 
it and cooks it with this water, and when eating this also 
drinlcs of this water, which he uses exclusively until well. 
To find the water a hole is generally dug close to a spring 
or stream, so that water is found with very little delay. 
There are other ceremonies as well as these for causing the 
cessation of illness, and a case of the sacrifice of a cat has 
already been mentioned, but a considerable number of 
medicines are prescribed as specifics in certain diseases. A 
list of the principal medicines used in the village of Kohima 
is given. They are probably fairly representative of what 
is known to the Angamis of medicine, though a certain 
amount of variation undoubtedly exists from village to 
village. The plants “ chipfii ” and “ pupu-ii ” are used for 
headaches, while for stomach-aches the roots of thatching 
grass {zoga) and raspberry (romvii) are used as well 
as the ^^piril^^ plant, and water in which iron has been 
rubbed. For eye-ache chetho-dzily the brine from a Naga 
salt-well, is used, while if the eye receives some injury, 

^ Similar but much more elaborate and terrifying gargoyles are used by 
some of the Konyak tribes to frighten away the cholera spirit. 

^ He is probably afraid of the loss of his soul. 

H 2 




urine {pezu) is applied. For itches, soot and 

a sort of creeper called mpe are used, and for bums 
earth that has been made muddy by urine {zupfe) and 
the raw gourd (pfurhe). For thorns that cannot other- 
wise be extracted the brain of a certain fish {khoJche) or 
the bile of the toad {thevxil-these) is applied, and wounds 
are treated with the plants thevo-mse and “ nhana-ii,'* 
with the bark of the tree aochii/^ or with the casts of 
earthworms {zochu-bo). For intermittent fever the crab 
{sego) and the root of the plant '^nyeke'' are used, and 
the plant “ nuiu-pru ” for spleen. Rheumatism is treated 
with the leaf or root of the “ mezi ’’ tree,^ and the antidote 
for poison is to pluck out the eyes of a living dog and swallow 
them. When a gland in the groin swells the big toe should 
be tied round very tight at its root to relieve the swelling, 
or a thread tied round the ankle. To relieve pain from a 
cut the spear or dao which caused it should be licked, while 
the severity of a wound is greatly enhanced if it be touched 
by one who has recently had sexual intercourse or even if 
the wounded person be spoken to by such an one. The old 
adage ‘‘ a hair of the dog that bit you ’’ holds good among 
the Angamis as elsewhere. The hairs should be pulled from 
the dog’s moustache and burnt, the ash being applied to the 
bite. The Sernas, who also believe in the efficacy of this 
remedy, are careful to choose black bristles. The marrow 
of the serow {flhdu keli) is also used as a medicine in 
some ailments, while the gall of the python (che these) 
is not only applied to wounds, but is often mixed with water 
and taken internally as a remedy for almost any disease. 
It is looked upon as a sort of panacea, and in the case of 
external wounds seems really to possess some curative value. 

A fractured skull is treated with raw eggs or with raw 
eggs and chickens’ blood, and it is believed that, provided 
the inner skin over the brain is not broken, the man will 
live. The writer saw an old man of Khonoma with a circular 
dent in his forehead caused by a blow from a stone held in 

^ 1 was not able to ascertain the scientific names of these plants, but in 
the Serna monograph the plants used as medicine or food by the Sernas will 
be found identified for the most part. 




the hand of an adversary. The dent was about the size of 
a shilling and the whole depression about a quarter of an 
inch below the level of the surface of his forehead. The 
man claimed to have cured this fracture in the manner 
mentioned, but the civil surgeon who examined him put it 
down to “ a natural immunity developed of necessity and 
to extraordinary good fortune. Dry cupping is practised 
for severe contusions.^ 

The Angamis, except perhaps the Chakroma, seem to 
have little knowledge of poisons, though some of the Dayang 
valley Sernas and the Lhotas know some poisonous plants, 
which are perhaps sometimes used by jealous wives. The 
only narcotic known is tobacco. The leaf is half dried, 
pounded, or stamped on and dried again. It is chewed as 
a rule in the Western Angami villages, while the eastern 
villages smoke it through water. Grenerally speaking, each 
man uses his own pipe, though one man will pass his pipe 
to another for a pull or two. The bowl is made of a softish 
grey stone found in several localities, while the rest of the 
pipe is made of bamboo. The pipe is in four parts, the bowl 
fitting into a bamboo holder, which again fits tightly into a 
bamboo water vessel. The smoke is carried down from the 
bowl into the water by a bamboo tube. When the water is 
sufficiently foul it is poured off into a bamboo phial which 
is tucked into the waist belt. Sips of this abomination are 
taken from time to time when on the march or in the fields, 
when smoking is out of the question. ^ Plain pipes of bamboo 
consisting merely of a bowl and a stem in one piece are also 
used. Cheap cigarettes are everywhere popular. 

The Angamis, leading an outdoor life such as they do, 
would not be expected to have many games of a sedentary 
nature. One such game is, however, known to them. It is 
a form of draughts known as terhuchil — ‘‘ Fighting- 

* The method followed ie said to be the same as that used by Lhotas 
and by the Kukis, a serow’s hom pierced at the narrow end being used for 
the cup, and the vacuxun created by suction, after which the aperture is 
closed by a wet leaf usually of tobacco. The incisions on the skin are 
made with a hammer-shaped lancet. A set of implements used by the 
Lhotas may be seen in the Pitt Rivera Museum at Oxford. 

* Usually it is retained in the mouth for a while and then spat out. 




eating/' because the pieces of the opposing side fight and 
eat one another up. The board is a square one of sixteen 
squares (Fig. I) joined by diagonal lines and usually scratched 
roughly on a large stone, cut into planking, or merely drawn 
in the earth. The pieces, which are bits of stone, move 
obliquely or straight along the lines, one going the distance 
of one square only at a time unless they are able to eat " 
one of their opponents by jumping over him into an empty 
station beyond. As a rule, there are ten pieces on each side, 
but the game is sometimes played with eight, in which case 
the two outside stations of the forward line are left empty. 
A variant form is played with nine pieces on each side, the 
pieces being set out as shown in the diagram (Fig. II). In 
this form there are triangular refuges into which and in 
which pieces may move along any of the lines shown. 
Inside these comers the piece may skip one junction of 
lines and move straight to the next but one. These triangles 
are formed by prolonging all the oblique lines beyond the 
square and also the straight lines forming the sides of the 
square and those dividing it into quarters. The bisected 
angles thus formed are joined up separately. 

Some various forms of gambling with cowries are also 
practised by the Angamis, one rule being that no gambler 
may refuse to go on staking unless the whole sum which he 
brought with him to the game is exhausted.^ 

Of active games the Angami is very fond, and several 
of his sports are almost identical with our own. His high 
jump, sitsCy is like ours, a wand being supported on two 
uprights, while his jumping powers are also tested by placing 
a mark in some high position where he must touch it by 
jumping with an outstretched hand. This game is called 
mabeh. The long jump is either jumped standing, when it is 

^ Of course he can fetch more money and go on after that if he likes. 
Some villages are particularly given to gambling and men in Khonoma 
frequently come and ask for an order to prevent their sons from gambling 
away property which does not belong to them at all, but really belongs to 
the father. The reason why Khonoma is worse than other villages in 
this respect partly is that it understands the art of distilling. Khonoma is 
full of stills and there is more ready cash than in most villages, seeing that 
Khonoma depends almost as much on trade as on cultivation. 


To Javf' j) 1 02. 



\To face p. 103. 



ailed chaise^ or in the case of a running jump (kem) a large 
bone is placed just in front of the jump. The jumper runs, 
nd leaping on to the stone takes off again from there. The 
imp is usually measured, not to the nearest point where 
ny part of the body touched the ground, as by us, but to 
lie marks made by the feet where they landed, and a step 
ack does not discount the length of this jump, which, 
owever, is in any case poor when judged by European 
bandards. In the high jump, however, the writer has seen 
Khonoma buck, untrained, and professedly out of practice, 
lear 4 feet 8 inches, the height of his chin when tilted, off a 
ad take-off and slightly up-hill. 

High kicking is a very popular game — a mark is placed in 
tree and the young men kick at it, the mark being raised 
hen reached. Such kicking with one leg is called pili, 
t^hen the kicker jumps and endeavours to touch the mark 
ith both feet together it is called mhamesu. The Angami is 
ipple-limbed and excels at this kicking game. Putting the 
^eight, kechi piye, is also a favourite game, and is played 
ith a rounded stone generally about the size of a child’s 
ead. The puts are not remarkable for length. In spear 
irowing, reTigu piye, a spear is set up as a mark and spears 
irown at it with considerable accuracy from a distance of 
bout twenty or thirty yards. The outside spear range is 
bout sixty yards, but very few can throw with any accuracy 
fc this range, while many find it difficult even to throw the 
istanoe. In wrestling (kenneh) the opponents grip one 
nother in a cross-grip, the arms of the one passing one over 
nd the other under the opposite arms of the wrestler. 
Tsually the wrestler grips the wrist of one hand with the 
ther in the small of the back of his opponent, whom he 
ndeavours to upset ; tripping is allowed. In mock- 
ghting, thedze keya, boys form themselves into two parties 
nd arm themselves with a large number of balls made of 
javes and fibre. The two parties line up facing one another 
b some distance and sitting down. One man gets up from 
3tch side and the two throw at one another with the balls, 
koever is hit being '' killed ” and having to sit down, 
hen another takes his place. This goes on till all the boys 




of one of the sides have been killed.’’ Peg-tops are spun 
by boys, being spun so as to knock together and “ fight,” 
one upsetting the other. This top, which is made in the 
form of a double cone with the string round one half, is 
called kwiUhoh, The string is of gradually increasing 
thickness with a loop at the top end through which the 
finger is passed to prevent the string’s going with the top.^ 

The only sort of dancing practised by way of a game, as 
distinct from ceremonial dancing, is the Kedohoh or war 
dance, in which a young man, armed with spear, shield, and 
dao, leaps about, spins his spear and utters shouts, in the 
traditional manner of a warrior challenging the braves of 
an opposing force. There is a particular step in this dance 
called pivehf which is practised separately as an independent 
amusement. It consists of leaping into the air and crossing 
and recrossing the legs (backwards and forwards, not from 
side to side) two or three times before again touching ground. 

Owing to the saving of labour entailed by the wet culti- 
vation of rice, the daily life of the Angami is decidedly less 
strenuous than that of his neighbours who subsist on 
jhuming, and who have seldom the leisure to loaf about the 
village all day doing nothing but drink zu and eat thirst- 
raisers, an occupation to which the Angami is much given. 
The Angami gets up very early, the women usually being the 
first to open the door and go out. The first thing to do is 
to blow up the fire, and after this the more cleanly go and 
wash their faces, the less cleanly their mouths only, while 
the quite uncleanly start straight away drinking ‘‘ modhu.” 
The morning meal follows, after which the family go to 
work in the fields, taking with them rice and curry, wrapped 
up in plaintain leaves, and numerous gourds of rice beer, 
while the women carry the babies slung against their backs 
by their cloths. The midday meal is eaten in the field- 
house, a small hut built for shelter in bad weather when 
working at the fields or scaring birds from the crops. Toward 

^ This top is used by most if not all Naga tribes. Among the Semas the 
young men play at top fighting and t/op spinning after the completion of 
the sowing for a couple of months or so. Only the children play with 
tope all the year rouiid 




dusk the party, which normally consists of the whole house- ^ 
hold, goes back to the village, often a distance of several 
miles, where it takes its evening meal, and so to bed. When 
the husband goes out to hunt or trade the wife and children 
go to the fields without him, but on non-working days 
(penna) the women may sit at home weaving or drying com, 
or doing both together, while the husband, if at home, and 
the children loaf about the village, drink modhu,” and 
gossip. In the cold weather the men assemble in the 
verandahs of housed, where they sit on planks round a wood 
fire made on the ground and tell stories or talk scandal. 
On genna days, the day is always begun by taking a little 
rice and pretending to heat it at the fire and wrapping it 
up in a bit of leaf and fastening it, together with a sip of 
“ modhu ” in a leaf cup, to one of the upright planks of the 
partition wall of a house, for the benefit of the spirit or spirits 
to propitiate whom they are keeping a sabbath. 

Very highly conventionalised form of Mithian Head used in 
Carving on Boards on the Front of a House in Chekrokejima. 




PAET 111 




Although the village may be regarded as the unit of the Social 
political and religious sides of Angami life, the real unit of the 
social side is the clan. So distinct is the clan from the village 
that it forms almost a village in itself, often fortified within 
the village inside in its own boundaries and not infrequently 
at variance almost amounting to war with other clans in the 
same village. This rivalry or antagonism of clan with clan 
within the village has coloured the whole of Angami life. 

In war, even though the village were united, the jealousy 
and suspicion of one clan for another would inevitably 
be a source of weakness ; in peace the village would from 
time to time break out into riot, while it is incessantly 
troubled by internal bickerings. In almost every dispute 
between two men of different clans the clansmen on each 
side appear as partisans and foment the discord. For 
certain purposes, however, such as religious observances 
and cases of a serious breach of the social code, the clans in 
almost any village would be found agreed ; while in some 
villages, perhaps most villages, the different clans dwell 
normally in peace and unity together, but this is probably 
much more the case under British rule than it was aforetime. 

^ The clan has been spoken of as though a very definite 
section of society, and so it most frequently is. At the 
same time it ought not to be regarded in the light of a 
rigid institution incapable of fluctuation or development. 

On the contrary, it is always tending to split up into com- 
ponent clans, a process which in parts of the Eastern Angami 




country has gone very much further than in the Khonoma 
and Kohima groups. As far as Angami traditions go this 
tendency has always been manifest. This will be seen most 
clearly from the history, if it can be called such, of the clan 
and exogamy since the settlement of the Angamis in their 
present villages, such ‘'history,” of course, being oral 
tradition only. 

The Angami race is believed to be descended from two 
men, sometime'! described as brothers (or cousins) who came 
up out of the earth. The place is not now known to the 
Angamis, but, if found, the prints of the hand, knees, and 
feet of the two ancestors will be fc-een in front of the hole 
left by them when they emerged. The Memi point to the 
great stone at MaikeP in the Manipur State as the place 
where this happened. From the elder of these two sprung 
the division of the Angami known as the Kepezoma (Kepe- 
poma)y and from the younger the other, the Kepepfiima 
(Kepepvnma).^ The Kepezoma or Kepepoma call their 
father “ apo ” and their mother “ ago,” while the Kepepfiima 
or Kepepvuma call their fathers “ apvu ” and their mothers 
“ apfu.**^ These appellations are retained by the members 
of the respective divisions when passing by marriage or 
adoption from a Pezoma (Pepoma) clan to a Pepfiima 
(Pepvuma) clan or vice versa, so that the daughter, for 
instance, of a Pezoma man by a Pepfiima wife calls her 
father “ apo ” and her mother “ apfil,'' and on being married 
herself into a Pepfiima clan will be called by her children 
“ ago.” The names for all other relations are the same in 

^ For the Maikel stone see Hudson’s Nciga Tribes of Manipur* 

‘ C!ompare the descent of the Motu tribe of Melanesians from Kirimaikulu 
and Kiiimaikupe (Seligmann, The Melanesians of British New Guinea, 
p. 43), also the division of the Minyong Abors into Kuri and Kunming . 
descended from two brothers of that name {Sir G. Duff Sutherland -Dunbar, 

‘ ‘ Abors and Galongs,” Memoirs of Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. v, extra 
number, p. 9) and the descent of the Ahoms from the two brothers 3£hunlung 
and Khunlai (Colonel Gurdon, Short Note on the Ahoms, p. 6). For 
Kaga parallels see the notes in the Appendix on other tribes. The terms 
Pezoma and PepfOma have been iised throughout for convenience, but 
when speaking of a man ** Pepoma ” and ** Pepvuma ” respectively are used 
in Angami. 

3 The forms kepepoma, kepepvuma, are derived, of course, from the 
words for father, ’po, ’pirn, while the corresponding terms kepezoma, kepep- 
fuma are derived from the names for mother, ’ro, ^pfil^ 




the two divisions. In the case of those who are called 
“ father ’’ or mother ’’ by courtesy the form of the name 
which belongs to their division is used. In a family purely 
Pezoma or purely Pepfuma, both parents will be called by 
their Pezoma or Pepfuma names respectively. This dual 
system, however, although found existing throughout the 
Naga Hills, is not evenly distributed. Among the Tengima 
proper some villages are found entirely Pezoma, others 
entirely Pepfuma, while others again are mixed ; while the 
Chakrima Angamis,’ the most numerous section of the whole 
tribe, are almost exclusively Kepezoma. The Kezami are 
sometimes spoken of as being all Kejpepvuma, seeing that 
they call their fathers “ apvo^^ but they call their mothers 
‘‘ azo,” and it may be taken as certain that they are Pepoma 
(Pezoma), not Pepvuma.^ We may compare the Lhota 
practice, where the whole tribe call their fathers ‘‘ apo^^ 
the two divisions differing only in having different names 
for mother, viz., '' aio ” and '' aplm'^ and may infer that 
in the mother’s name lies the important point of distinction. 
It is pretty certain that ‘‘ apvo ” is merely a dialectical form 
of apoT ^ The Memi,^ again, though divided into 
Chakrima and Chovoma, seem, conversely to the Kezami, 
to use the terms '' apu''^ and '' apfil,'' but present the 
phenomenon, unique apparently as far as the tribes inside 
the Naga Hills district are concerned, of a third division of 
quite a different status to the other two.® This division is 

^ Some of the clans in the Viswema group use the same terms for father ” 
and ** mother ” as the Kezami, and are reckoned (and count themselves) 

* It is on account of this variation in the term taken from the mede 
parent that I have throughout designated these two Angami divisions by 
the words Pezoma and Pepfuma, instead of Pepoma and Pepvuma, as the 
former pair are constant and can be used unequivocally of the Kezami and 
Memi. Properly speaking, a male of the Pezoma group should be spoken 
of as “ Pepoma ” and the female only as Pezoma,'^ Pepwma and Pepfuma 
being similarly used of the other group. I have, however, employed the 
female terms only for the sake of convenience and perspicuity. 

* The Memi referred to here and hereafter are Memi only who are resident 
actually on the Naga Hills District border. The Memi generally have been 
dealt with by Mr. Hodson in his monograph on the Naga tribes of Manipur. 

* “ Aptif' however, is pronoimced “ with the upper teeth on the lower 
Up,’’ another dialectical form. 

® These two, however, the Chakrima and Chovoma, should perhaps be 
regarded as forming a single group equivalent to the Angami Kelivu* 




known as Kachima or Cherhechima and marries with neither 
Chakrima nor Chovoma, although it is not endogamous, as 
it intermarries freely with non-Memi Angamis and may not 
intermarry within itself in the same village. The Cherhe- 
chima^ it should be added, are regarded as having a 
different origin, coming from Pirhetsu Hill, near Maram, 
whereas the Memis generally ascribe their origin to a 
Tangkhul village called by them Piwhuma ; they are 
looked on as inferior and are credited with the evil eye and 
other occult powers, which are not, however, necessarily 
exercised voluntarily, as they are cursed with some sort of 
unlucky emanation. 

Of the two ancestors of Angamis, Thevo,^ who emerged 
the first, was the ancestor of the Kepezoma, who are entitled 
by virtue of his priority to a precedence in eating over the 
descendants of the younger, Thekrono. The Kepepfuma, 
however, claim that Thekrono was really the elder of the 
two, but that Thevo outwitted him in the matter of 
precedence by arrogating to himself priority of birth and 
proceeding to eat first on the strength of it, without giving 
Thekrono an opportunity to assert his right. However this 
may be, a Pezoma man has the right to eat or to start 
eating, at any rate, before any Pepfiima man if the two are 
about to take a meal in company ^ on ceremonial occasions, 
and on such occasions Kepepfuma await Kepezoma and do 
not begin eating before them,® 

^ The names “ Kovoma ” and “ Chizama ” have also been given me 
as the names of the two ancestors, but though in this legend applied to 
individuals, they appear from their form to be collective nouns. The 
termination ma used with names seems in all other cases to indicate a 
group of men, though the word “ tema,” of which it is the compound form, 
is used for “ man ” and is the ordinary word for “ man ” in the singular. 

“ When Thevo emerged from the earth he remarked, “ a thevo mho kecha 
keka^^ since when the Kepezoma have been ugly but strong, whereas 
Thekrono remarked, “ a thekrono a phirimi kezUf' and the Kepepfiima 
have since been handsome but weak. The words refer respectively to a 
rooky blufi on a moimtain spur and to the soap vine. 

Compare the division of some of the Fijians into two es:ogamous eosa, 
the one called voaa turanga^ the other vosa dhauravou ; turanga meaning 
“elder” or “noble,” and dhauravou “younger” or “plebeian” (Man, 
vol. xiv. No. 1, January, 1914). 

* When away from home a party of Angamis eating together wait for 
the eldest of the party to begin eating first. 




Now Bome Angamis believe that the two orKelhu. 

divisions of Kepezoma and Kepepfuma were originally 
exogamous, marrying mutually into one another, and the 
pedigrees given at the end of this chapter certainly suggest 
that, at any rate in the Khonoma group, there existed at 
least a prejudice in favour of marrying into the opposite 
“ kelhu ” until a comparatively recent date.^ It is admitted, 
however, that at the time of entry of the Angamis into their 
present country (th,e first Angami village to settle north of 
the Mao gap is universally believed to have been Keza- 
kenoma, to which all Angami villages trace their origin), the 
Pezoma kelhu had split into Thevoma and Satsiima, the 
two being admitted as independent communities on the 
same footing, for exogamous purposes, as the Pepfiima 
kelhu Thekronoma (or Cherama).^ The Satsiima, however, 
were never numerous, and very few exist now outside the 
villages of Mima, Theniazuma, and of Sachema itself. For 
practical purposes the two kelhu remained as Thevoma and 
Thekronoma.® The exogamous clans into which these two 
split up are those which have been mentioned as forming 
the units of Angami society. These “ thinOy' to use the Thino. 

^ 1 have used this word helhu with some hesitation, and only for want 
of a better. There is no ordinary Angami word for these two divisions 
and kelhu was given me as the correct word when 1 pressed for the word 
and insisted that there must be some word to express such a division. 
I fancy kelhu ordinarily means “ generation,” and has perhaps acquired a 
secondary sense like that sometimes apparently attached to ** generation ’* 
in the Old Testament. It is convenient, however, to use some term, and 
kelhu does as well as another. 

* For what seems to be a survival of the Kelhu in an exogamoiis condition, 
see note on Bengmas in Appendix II. 

* Compare the Lhota organisation, which exactly corresponds 
(Appendix II). 

* These are those divisions commonly designated by the local o£&cers 
and others “ khel.” This word “ khel ” is really an Assamese word 
signifying the exogamous division of the Ahoms. Its use has been carefully 
avoided in this monograph, not merely because it is not an Angami word, 
but also because it has come to have a sense in non-Angami parts of the 
district which has no reference to tribal division, but only means the part 
of a village grouped for puiposes of administration under a particular 
headman. Hiis sense has, of course, arisen from the Angami custom of 
dividing up a village into separate “ quarters ” inhabited by different 

thirwma^^ See Appendix X. 

* Called Solhima in Chakrima villages. 





Angami word, all trace their descent to some an(jestor, a 
member of one of the kelhu, and though going under different 
names in different places do not forget their relationship 
with collateral clans in neighbouring, or even very distant, 
villages. Moreover, these “ thino ’’ were imtil comparatively 
recently undoubtedly really exogamous units, though their 
place is being rapidly taken by the kindred, and though, in 
spite of the strong disapprobation of the elders of the clan, 
who prophesy barren marriages or idiot and diseased 
children as a result, marriages even within the kindred 
are not nowadays unknown. 

It has been stated that the kelhu is thought to have been 
the original exogamous division of the Angamis. It is 
believed that the next stage was to allow intermarriage 
between members of the same kelhu provided that they were 
of different villages. This, of course, may be mere conjec- 
ture on the part of one or two intelligent Angamis, but 
there is some support to be found for it in the appended 
pedigrees as well as a certain amount of inherent probability 
in the theory, which is strengthened by the customary 
prohibition of marriage inside the village among the Cherhe- 
chima above mentioned. Whether, however, this was the 
case or not, the inter-kelhu exogamy must have given 
place to inter-thino exogamy^ very early among such com- 
munities as the Chakrima villages, where not only the 
majority in the village, but also in neighbouring villages, was 
of the same kelhu. ^ The story of exogamy in Kohima is an 
interesting illustration of the sort of development that took 
place. Kohima was composed partly of a large clan called 

^ Occasionally one finds a clan which is half Pezoma and half Pepffima 
(see Appendix X). The probable reckon of this is either absorption by 
one group of another smaller group which after its adoption has multiplied 
out of proportion to the adopting clan, or, perhaps, the amalga- 
mation of two clans at a time of migration. In many instances 
the former is known to be the reason (see Appendix X), and the fact that 
Pezoma families migrating to another village usually seem to have been 
adopted into a Pepffima clan and vice versa is probably to be esqplained by 
the original exogamous nature of the Kelhu. Thus a Pezoma man would 
on going to the new village take a Pepffima wife, and having no clan of his 
own there would be adopted into her clan, as in the case of the ancestors of 
Nihu of Kohima, whose pedigree is given below* 



Pferonoma, which, though like all other Angamis it hailed 
from Kezakenoma originally, came more directly from 
Kigwema, and partly of the Cherama clan coming straight 
from Kezakenoma. Both these clans were Pepfiima, but, 
coming from different villages, used to intermarry. Cherama 
remain intact still, but the Pferonoma have split up into 
six clans, Hrepvoma, Horotsuma, Chetonoma, Dapetsuma, 
Pfuchatsuma, and Rosuma. These, though at first perhaps 
merely kindreds q-nd marrying into the Cherama clan or 
neighbouring villages, are now exogamous clans inter- 
marr3dng with one another. An instance of the thino 
splitting into what may be called septs may also be seen 
in the genealogical table of Srisalhu of Khonoma {vide infra) y 
while in the Eastern Angami villages the original clan has 
become a mere phratry of two or more septs. The use of the 
word thino for the exogamous sept as well as for the formerly 
exogamous clan, now merely a phratry, shows just how far 
this process has gone. A Kohima man of the Cherama clan 
would answer Cherama if asked his thino, whereas no 
non-Cherama Kohima man would dream of answering 

Pferonoma.” A man of the Semoma clan of Khonoma if 
asked his thino will frequently answer “ Semoma,” but 
quite as frequently ‘‘ Chalitsuma ” or ‘‘ Kutsotsuma,” 
according to his sept. 

But while the thino may still be regarded as ordinarily 
implying an exogamous group, it must be recognised that 
the exogamy of the thino is giving place to that of its sub- 
division the putaa.^ Theputsa^ which is really the “ kindred,” Putsa. 
is a more coherent body than the thino, and the relative 
positions in which the individual stands towards the kindred 
and towards the clan is well illustrated by the few formali- 
ties and duties that accompany adoption.. His per- 
sonality is so far bound up with his kindred and clan that 
it is quite in accordance with Angami feeling to hold the 
clan, and still more the kindred, responsible for the mis- 
demeanours of the individual. It may be seen from the 

^ The term ptUea, again, is not perliaps the term most ordinarily used. 

Thino is often used for the kindred as well as for the clan, but seeing that 
putsa {<apo * father*, tea ' side *) exists with this meaning, 1 have used it 
for the kindred to avoid confusion. 

I 2 


accompanying pedigrees that the kindred is on its way to 
becoming the exogamous group ; even by the Angamis the 
terms thino and putsa are not precisely used, and some 
groups other than large and recognised fhino of long history 
are spoken of by both terms, while it is clear that groups 
now called fhino have only comparatively recently attained 
to that status. This is particularly the case among the 
Eastern Angamis. The annexation, however, of the Angami 
country by Government has weakened the sanction of the 
village authorities, and marriages actually within the 
though very rare and regarded with great disapproval as 
being genna,’* are not entirely unknown. Such marriages 
are believed to be sterile or to result in idiot or diseased 
offspring. The word “ saiyeh '' should be mentioned in 
connection with this subject. Its meaning is vague, and 
it is used much as the word family ’’ is used in English, 
referring sometimes to a small circle of immediate blood 
relations, sometimes as more or less synonymous with 
putsa, and sometimes perhaps referring to a wider relation- 
ship still, such as that between persons of two closely allied 
kindreds between which no intermarriage is permitted. It 
should be noted, however, that it never refers to relationship 
on the mother’s side, for which there would appear to be no 
word at all in the language, blood relationship being, indeed, 
not recognised through the female line. We thus have a 
series of groups each split in its turn into more groups, and 
each, it would seem, losing, as it splits up, its formerly 
exogamous character. The kelhu breaks up into the thino, 
which again splits up into new thino, which in their turn 
lose their exogamous status to the putsa into which they are 
divided. In the present generation the putsa would seem 
to be in the actual process of becoming the real exogamous 
unit, but has not yet finally become so, as the prohibition, 
which until comparatively recently applied to marriage 
within the fhino, stiU appUes to intermarriage between the 
more nearly related putsa. Thus within the Chalitsuma sept 

^ 1 know of a case in Kohima village where a man married his father’s 
brother’s daughter. They have no children. A similar case appears in 
one of the genealogies given. 





of the Semoma clan of Khonoma there are five putsay 
Vokanoma, Mormoma, Ratsotsuma, Rilhonoma, and Seyet- 
suma. Of these the first three, who are descended from toee 
brothers, Voka, Morr, and Ratsa, the grandsons of Chaliu, 
founder of the sept, are still not allowed to intermarry, but 
they may intermarry with either of the other two, who may 
also intermarry with each other. The other two ought 
properly to be also descended from Chaliu, but their descent 
is not quite so cle^r, as the Rilhonoma are not allowed on 
the ground of relationship to intermarry with two of the 
four Kutsotsuma putsa, the Kutsotsuma, the other sept 
of the Semoma clan, being descended from Kuthoh, the son 
of Chaliu's brother Hesennu, and all its putsa intermarrying 
with the first-mentioned three putsa of the Chalitsuma. It 
is probable that the Rilhonoma and the kindred putsa of 
the Kutsotsuma sept represent a second addition to the 
Semoma clan recruited from the Jotsoma descendants of 
Semo, and divided between the two septs, an explanation 
suggested by the genealogist of the Semoma olan.^ 

KelhUy thinOy and putsa are all patrilineal and patronymic. 

They show no traces of Totemism.^ 

Relationship has been spoken of hitherto as being a blood Adop- 
tie merely, but it can also be set up by adoption, though the 
practice is generally held to be decidedly objectionable. 

' I am indebted to Colonel Shakespear, late Political Officer at Manipur, 
for the following note on exogamous groups among the Memi and Maram 
villages : — 

“ I have not found the division into two main groups among the Mao or 
Maram people, but it is quite possible that it originally existed. I shall 
inquire further. At Mao each village has a different system. Shongashon 
has 4 khels grouped in two exogamous pairs. Kalanamei has 6 khels ; 

1 and 2 form an exogamous group and 4, 6, and 6 another ; number 3 inter- 
marries with both groups. The other 3 villages are divided into khels 
which are exogamous but are not grouped. Maram has 3 khels which are 
exogamous and two of them form an exogamous group. In all oases where 
there are groups the reason for not marrying in the group is stated to be 
that the khels forming the group are descended from brothers.” 

For the part taken by the Pezoma wd Pepfffma kelhu in gennas, see the 
ceremony of dragging the clan door and the Parochff genna in Part IV. 

* See Appendix III on Totomism. It is worth notice that the Angami 
does not ask “ What clan are you ? ” but Whose clan are you ? ” {no 
sopo thinoma f). 


A man with no sons will sometimes adopt some young man 
to whom he may take a fancy from another kindred, or from 
another clan, on the understanding that the adopted son 
entirely forswears the former group and enters the group of 
his adoptive father, whose property he inherits. Such 
adoption is rare and almost invariably leads to involved 
property disputes, as the adopted usually tries to avoid 
giving up the property rights which may be forfeited by his 
leaving his own group, while he has to struggle with his 
new relations for the inheritance of his adoptive parent of 
which they consider themselves improperly deprived. 
Adoption within the kindred presents no difficulties and needs 
no ceremonies, being really not more than an arrangement 
by which one man looks after another, in return for which 
he inherits his property under a verbal will, or a larger share 
of property than he would otherwise have done ; but such 
an arrangement is not regarded at all in the same light as 
an adoption from a different clan, and in speaking of adop- 
tion among the Angamis the setting up of a more intimate 
relationship than would ordinarily exist between two members 
of the same kindred cannot rightly be termed adoption at 
all, and has no particular significance. Adoption from one 
kindred to another within the clan is rare, and its significance 
probably varies with local conditions, being, as it were, a 
half-measure of adoption, real adoption being adoption from 
a different clan. The aversion to adoption from another 
clan arises, no doubt, partly from the property disputes and 
general ill-feeling caused by the desertion of one group in 
favour of another, but still more, in the case of the original 
clan of the adopted, from an intense dislike or even fear of 
anything that may cause a decrease in the numbers of a 
clan or of a kindred. The mere idea of the extinction of 
the kindred or clan is utterly abhorrent to the Angami mind. 
The feeling which underlies the act of adoption seems to be 
a desire that the kindred and clan shall not suffer a diminu- 
tion in numbers by the death of the childless adopter, and 
for this reason, adoption, properly speaking, is adoption 
from another clan. There is, however, one kind of adoption 
from another clan which is looked upon as suitable and 




proper. This is adoption by a kindred of a man of another 
clan, generally of another village, who has been impelled to 
leave his own clan and village owing to enmity. If for some 
reason a man incurs the enmity of his village, clan, or kindred 
to such a degree that he finds life uncomfortable for him, it 
is regarded as quite a proper course of action for him to sell 
his land and leave his village and seek adoption by the 
kindred of another clan in another village. A change of 
clan within the village would lead to clan disputes, but no 
one objects to a man in such circumstances leaving his 
village and joining whatever clan and kindred he pleases 
in another village, except, possibly, the kindred left, who 
merely have an additional grievance against him and are no 
doubt in some cases heartily glad to be rid of him. 

Adoption is attended by a certain amount of ceremonial, 
both on the part of the clan which is deserted (having regard 
to the individual) and on the part of the individual (having 
regard to the clan of his adoption). In the case of the clan 
deserted a pig is killed and paid for by a common sub- 
scription. It is divided up and all the clansmen eat of it, 
the eldest member eating first, followed by others in order of 
seniority. A chicken is also released by the oldest member, 
who takes it and throws it into the jungle somewhere near 
the village, but far enough off for it to be unlikely to find its 
way home. The purpose ascribed to this act is the preven- 
tion of a repetition of such an occurrence as the desertion of 
the clan by one of its members. On his part, the man adopted 
chooses to what kindred in his new clan he will belong, if 
that has not been already settled beforehand. He then 
kills a pig and prepares a large quantity of “ zu'' The pig 
is cut up and every male member of the kindred chosen 
receives a share of flesh and a share of the drink, while a 
similar share is given to a representative only of each other 
kindred in the clan. This, it is said, is a sign that the newly- 
adopted member will not treat them as he has treated the 
clan from which he has come. The whole clan helps to 
fetch the property of its new member and the materials of 
his house from its former site, but only the newly-adopted 
kindred help in building the new house. Although the 




prohibition of marriage within his former kindred is not 
removed, no intermarriage is allowed between the new 
member of the clan and kindred which adopts him, though 
nowadays, at any rate, he and his descendants may inter- 
marry with the other kindred of the clan. The case given 
in the pedigree of Nihu of Kohima, in which there appears 
to be a marriage between the son of an adopted member of 
the Ramenuma kindred and a woman of that kindred, is 
explained by the adoption having taken place as a result 
of the marriage and subsequently to it. It may be remarked 
with regard to this pedigree that it shows an instance of 
adoption of a man of a Pezoma clan into a Pepfuma clan. 
There is no change of kdhu in such a case, and Nihu is 
Pezoma like his forefathers. 

digreos In the following pedigrees the Pezoma lines are shown in 
italics while the Pepfuma are printed in Roman type. The 
brackets below the names contain the name of the exogamous 
clan (the thino), and after that, when necessary and obtain- 
able, the name of the kindred {putsa). Where it has been 
found necessary to give the name of a sept it is given before 
that of the kindred. Unless stated to the contrary, the 
village, clan, and kindred of any person in the table is the 
same as that of his or her first male ancestor in the direct 
paternal line whose name is given, and marriages into a 
different village are clearly shown. The names of males are 
given to the left hand of females in the case of married 
couples. Where any doubt might arise, sex is shown by 
the conventional signs. 

It may be noticed with reference to the pedigrees in general 
that, where the clans in a village are all of the same kelhu, 
inteT-helhu marriages do not nowadays occur. On the other 
hand, in the Khonoma group inter-fceZ/m marriages seem to 
have been almost the rule until the present generation. 

The pedigrees here given were obtained after the informa- 
tion as to the exogamous system in general described above, 
which was obtained by direct inquiry. They were taken at 
random and are not selected in any way. 




Th€ P9d4gree of VISE oj Viswema 
village, kelnu : Kepezoma. elan : 


LI8ANY1 oJ Viswema 

VISWELE ~ Yo^le of Sopvotehema village 
j (Taputsoma) [Memi] 

F/ij® = Ketselhuwu of ELhonoma village 

N.B . — ^Marriages between Angaxnis of the Viswema group and of Memi 
and Kezama villagos are very frequent. Vise is bilingual, speaking Memi 
as well as Tengima. 

Pedime of ZEPULE of Kohima 
village. kelhu : Kepepfdma. 
clan ; Hrepvuma (of the Pfero- 
numa phratry). 

SOVISEH of Kohima 

NGULHU = Nizhu of Merema village 
1 {Kidutuma) 

i KlNIZlHE = ClMhowu NI = Kresawu VIFFELE =- 9 

I I (Horotmma) (Cheto- (Dapet- 

ZEPULE = Lolezewii numa). suma). 


N.B . — The marriages in this generation only are Pepfiima-Pepfhma ; 
moreover, they are between the different clans of the Pferonuma phratry. 
The Horotsuma clan, though a Pepfuma group, contains one or two Pezoma 
families. It may be observed that Zepule could not remember his sister- 
in-law’s name at the time of questioning, a fact rather typical of the 
genealogical knowledge of the ordinary Angami. He would, of course, in 
speaking to her use the title amiepfu, and not her personal name. 

Pedigree of LHUSELE of Kohima 
village. kelhu : Kepepfiima. 
clan : Hrepvuma (of the Pfero- 
numa phratry). 

YACHELE of Kohima 

ZELENIU = Gelhuwii of Chedoma village 
1 (Chekronoma) 


LHUS ELE — Zebvuno 


N.B , — ^The Pepfiima-Pepfuma marriage in the last generation is between 
persons of different villages. The marriage of Lhusele is outside the 
Pferonuma phratry. All the clans in Kohima are Pepfuma, the six clans 
other than Cherama being branches of what was once, no doubt, the clan 
Pferonuma, but which has long ceased to be exogamous. It used at one 
time to marry only into the Cherama clan or into other villages. In any 
case, marriages into the Pezoma helhu are hiwdly to be expected in Kohima 
viUa^ within the time covered by ordinary Angami genealogical knowledge, 
although Mozema, a purely Pezoma village, seems to have kept up inter- 
relate marriages, by taking wives from luionoma, but these two villages 
were always m close touch with one cuaother. 

PT. Ill 



Ped^ee of NIHU of Kohima 
viUage, kdhu : K^ezoma, clan : 
Pvchatauma. kindred : Bame- 

of Rekroma viUage 
{Kininuma) settled 
in Kohima in the 
Puchatauma clan 


of Bekroma village 


joined Ramenuma 
kindred of Puchat- 

(Puchatsuma Raineimma) 

NIHV ^ Lohu 

i (Chotoiiuina). 

N.B , — Here a Pezoma family settles in a Pepfiima clan and remains 
Pezoma though becoming one of the Bamenuma kindred and subject to 
the same marriage prohibitions as the Bamenuma kindred. Though 
accepted as a member of the Puchatsuma clan, Visole’s son marries within 
it and joins the kindred into which he has married. 

Pedigree of TSORIYtJ ( 9 ) of Kohima 
village, kelhu: Kepepfuma. clan: 

Puchatsuma (of the Pferonoma 

TUTSt) = 9 
of Kohima village I 
(Puchatsuma) | 

ZESALE Bilhuwu of Dehoma village 
I _ (Theyonuma) 

■■ I’ I 

Thnchv =. TSOBlO MEPO 

A Serna of 

I VATSt^KRE -r 9 
j 1 (Puchatsuma) 

LUKAHE Nizenu 


N.B. — Pepfiima-Pepfuma marriages (except in the case of the Serna) , but 
in the last generation between different villages 

PecUgree of NISANY0 of Kohima 
village, kelhu : Kepepfuma. 
clan : Puchatsuma kindred : 

PUSOH of Kohima 
I village (Puchat- 
1 sums, Butsanoma) 

LHURE Rizowii of 
I Chedema 
1 village 

LHUTSEVI == Soleii 

I (Cherama) 

NUPULHU = Sovamiiu . 

I of Rekroma | 

I village 1 

NISANYt) = Nuzeii (Rosuma) NIOHA 


N.B. -Pepfuma-Pepfuma marriages of last generation but one between 
different villages. 




li — 














II — 







— 43 O 



— <tj 








II - - 



I >1 





PI 4 

i 2 




:S O 







;SJ 3 
o fc 


II - 












II • 

- - J-H 






M w 




1 « 
















PT. Ill 



Pedigree of YALHULE of 
Kigwema village, kelhu : Kepe- 
zoma. clan : Kipoma. 


of Kigwema I of Mima village 
village | 

{Kipoma) j 

SALHUNIU - Lepulhule 

j (Kamima) 

YALHULE = Viletovm 
‘ of Mozema 



N.B . — ^The marriage in the preuani generation is Pezoma-Pezoma, but 
between different villages. 

Pedigree of VIDILHU of Mozema, 
village, kelhu : Kepezoma. clan : 

KOWO ^ 9 

One of the original coloniata 
from Kigwema to Mozema. 

Haa descendanta also in Jot- 
aoma, Khonoma^ and in 











of Khonoma 

=: 9 of Mozema 
I village 

I i 

YEJIHE == Kropulewu 
I of Khonoma 
1 village 
I (Semoma) 

KRENIZE = Nihotsowa 
{Nisonuma) | of K h o - 
j~ “ noma vil- 

VIDILHU = Viriyu lage (Se- 

(Vihotawma) {Nisonuma). nioiiia). 

N.B . — The first recorded marriage within the Pezoma kelhu is in the 
present generation. All the clans in Mozema are Pezoma. 




Pedigree of ZELPCH A and 
PFETSEHU of Jotsonia village, 
kelhu : Kepepfiima. clan : 



came from Kigwema with the first 
colony to Jotsoma; ancestor of 
Semoina clan of Khonoma also 
(Thekronoma) ) 

VILE = Rilhuzhewii LHUWUKRE 
I of Kohiina | {Kwoma) 

I village NIT SOLE = Tolhuwii 
I (Chetonoma) I (Thekro- 

j I noma) 

I 1 ‘ " 

SOTAMU — Taoaetim 

NIPULE - Jaleii 
of Khonoma (Semoma) 

ZUCHALE = Rukriewii 
I (Semoma) 
Zenilhutvu (1) = ZELUCHA 
of Khonoma " ^ ' 



NOUREZHU = Tsolhuwii 
(Toloma) of Kohima 

PFETSEHU = LhutsoUwu 

i PFUTSOH = Zekru 

{Toloma) | (Tseyama) 

(2) Tserreviu 

N,B . — Here there is a Pezoma-Pezoma marriage in the last generation 
and a Pepffima-Pepfuma marriage in the generation before, but in the 
latter case between persons of different villages. There are four clans in 
Jotsoma — Toloma^ Tseyama, Kwoma, and Thekronoma. 




Genealogy of SRISALHU of 
IChonoma village. kelhu : 
Kepepfilma. clan : Semozna. 
sept ; ChalitBuma. kindred : 


came with the first colony 
wema when J otsoma was 1 
SEMO — Thewu 
from whom the 

clan takes its 



I from whom the sept 
takes its name 




ancestor of the 
Kutsotsuma sept 



came with tlie 


colony from Jotsoma 
when Khonoma was 
founded. The kin- 
dred takes its name 
from him 

of Mozerna 


ancestor o f 
the Morranuma 

ancestor of the 





i (Vihotavma) 


I (Merhema) [Thevoma) 

HUTSOH = Zarrii I 

of Kiru-^ I 

fema ‘CHARILE -= Kronivm 
village I {Thevoma) 


I {Thevoma) 

SOZEO = Rehruwii 

1 {Thevoma) 
PELHULE = Varihuwii j 
I (Thevoma) | 
ZEPURR = YakriewiX 

VIKILE = Chesonyuwu 

of Khonoma village 

DOHAPRE = jK:/n^^cAMti;M VIZOPRE = Phelhu* 
(Thevoma) d. s. p. shewii 


Wokiyii Vilohawu 
Kutsotsuma) (Semoma), (Thevoma) 

VITSELE = Vilavovm 
of Mozerna 


- Zakem^ii 





= UTSOWU sons 



pT. in 

N.B. — Srisalhu, who gave this genealogy, is particularly well acquainted 
with genealogical matters. Dohapre is the hereditaiy kemovo ^ of the 
Semoma clcm and will be succeeded in the office by Srisalhu, who will 
again be followed by Dohapre’a son Vitsele. The family, however, is ^ 
unable to exercise its functions owing to the expulsion by Government of 
the Chalitsuma sept from the origii^ site of Khonoma. The functions 
are meanwhile performed by Khusapra of the Kutsotsuma sept, which 
remains on the original site. It will be noticed in this genealogy that 
Srisaihu’s ^neration is the first in which a Pepfftma-Pepfilma marriage 
is recorded; further, that this marriage falls within the Semoma cto, 
though the parties belong to different septs. In the following generation 
we find that one of Srisalhu's nephews has gone a step further still and 
marries within the sept, though into different kindreds. Thewfi, wife of 
Semo, has been shown conjecturally as Pezoma. Nothing is really known 
about her. 

There are three clans in Khonoma — Thevoma, Merhema, and Semoma. 
Violent disputes between these clans may have encouraged marriages 
within the tkino during the last two generations. 

Pedigree of Kruzeto of Khonoma 
village, IceJhu : Kepezoma. clan : 


I of Khonoma village 
I {Thevoma) 


I LHUSARR = Nichavuwu 

I (Merhema) of Mozema 

LHUTZUCHA = 9 vill^e 

I (Merhema) {Vihotsuma) 

KRENITHt = Visosiy^ 


PEKRULE = Lhoahiteu 
(Merhema) | {Thevoma) 






JV.R. — All the marriages are Pezoma— Pepfiima and outside the clan. 
The name of Kruzeto’s wife is not given, as it is not usual for a man to 
mention the name of his own wife “ for shame,” and being newly married 
a third person who knew her name was not available when the pedigree 
was recorded. 

^ KemovOf see Peu’t IV. 

• /.e., at the time of writing. The sept has since been allowed to return 
to its old site. 

of PFVDILHV o Khoi 


^ CDS 

i " 


II cB S 

S ? 3 

^4 O S ® 



^ s s 

^ S S 


oj mrzoBBoj 




Pedigree of SOTZVZUV of 
Purobama village (Chakrima.) 
keihu : Kepezonut, clan : Seha- 


of Purobama I (Telentsomi) 

village | 

(Sekamutaomi) VAKRtJ 

NQOBRENN = HoizUe 1 

{Pogwenumi) ZVSANK = Sazele 

I {Pogwe- 

I numi) 

SOTZUZHU = Edutaule 

I (Telentaomi) 


N,B , — Grenerally speaking the Chakrima villages are composed mainly 
of Pezoma clans. 

Pedigree of TAHEMO of Kern- 
bama village {Kezama). kelhu : 

Kepezoma. clan : Senomi. 


of Kezaha'tna 

(Senomi) MESHOKO = Etaulhiii 

( Lekomi) I ( W etaami) 


I OWEGHELO = Metetaele 

HILLO = Zutheniu 1 (Senomi) 

I (Laaumi) | 

I 1 

TAHEMO — Qweseniii 

Akgami Teems of Relationship. 

N.B. — ^Where the terms used by the Kepepfiima difPer 
from those used by the Kepezoma the former are given in 
italics. The terms are as used in the Khonoma group. A 
few variations used by the Kohima group are given in 

Father To, ’po%. 

Mother ’Zo, ’p/ii. 

Son ’No. 

Daughter .... ’Nopfii. 

Elder brother (m.s.)^ . ’Dzereo. 

Younger brother (m.s.) . ’Siezeo. 

' ‘‘m.s.” signifies that the word is used in address by males only, 
“ W.S.” that it is used in address by women only. 




Brother (w.s.) 
Sister (m.s.) 

Elder sister (w.s.) . 

Younger sister (w.s.) . 

Father’s elder brother . 

„ younger brother 
,, brother’s wife(m.s. 

if j) ji 

„ sister 

,, sister’s husband 
„ „ son . 

„ ,, daughter . 

Mother’s brother . 

,, brother’s wife 

„ sister 

sister’s husband 

Younger sister’s son (m.s.) . 
Younger sister’s daughter 


Sister’s son (w.s.) . 

„ daughter (w.s.) 
Father’s father 
Mother’s ,, ... 


’Upfii (’lupfii) (if necessary to 
distinguish the seniority, phi- 
chiipfu, ‘ elder,’ and nhi- 
chupfii, ‘ younger,’ are suf- 
fixed as required) . 



A-pO, a^pvu (in address). *po 
dzereo, ^pvu dzereo, in speak* 
ing to third person. 

’Nyie (or ’nyiedi). 

’Thi (or ’zo, in address). 

’Ni (or ’zo, ^pfu, in address). 

’Nye, ’nya. 

’Ml (followed by personal name.) 

’Chu, ’chuno (followed by per- 
sonal name). 

’Chupfii (followed by personal 

’Mi, ’miyu. 

’Thi (’zo, also used by 

courtesy) . 

’Zo, 'pfil (in address). ’Zopfli, 
’pfilpfu (in speaking to third 
person) . ’Pf UZO is also used. 

’Ni (followed by personal name). 
If the man addressed is older than 
the speaker’s father the terms 
apo, apVUy would be used for 
politeness^ sake. 

’Chu, ’chuno. 




’Putsao, 'pvutsa. 

^ Terms of endearment aho and kechi are also used as for any child, 
the latter for a female child with the suffix no — kechino, while with the 
suffix bu for a male it might be used by a woman for her younger brother — 




Father’s mother . 
Mother’s „ 

Husband . 

Wife . . . 

Wife’s father . 

Wife’s mother 
Husband’s father 
Husband’s mother 
Wife’s elder brother 
Wife’s elder sister 
Wife’s younger sister 

Husband’s elder brother 
Husband’s elder sister (older 
than speaker) . 

Son’s wife .... 
Daughter’s husband 
Elder sister’s husband . 
Younger sister’s husband . 
Elder brother’s wife (m.s.) . 
Younger brother’s wife (m.s.) 
Elder brother’s wife (w.s.) . 

’Zotsa, *t9apfii (or *pfiUaa). 
(Though *tsapfu is strictly a 
Pepfiima term, it seems to be 
us^ sometimes for Kepezoma as 











’Siezepfii (in address; in speaking 
to a third person and wiriiing to 

be explicit, ’Kima siezepfu 
would be used). 


’Ni (personal name used if younger). 








The following relations are addressed and spoken of by the 
personal name (unless it is necessary to specify precisely, 
when the exact relationship is indicated, e.g., “ My mother’s 
brother’s daughter ” = A-mi u-nopfii) : — Father’s brother’s 
child, mother’s brother’s child, mother’s sister’s child, wife’s 
younger brother, husband’s younger brother, husband’s 
younger sister, younger brother’s wife (w.s.), brother’s 
child, elder sister’s child (m.B.), wife’s brother’s child, 
husband’s sister’s child, wife’s sister’s child, younger 
brother’s wife (w.s.), wife’s sister’s husband, husband’s 
brother’s wife. 


A child’s wife’s parents are addressed by name or by the 
term reahema = “ a connection,” a very vague term of 
relationship applied to relations or connections by marriage 
who are not of the same exogamous group as the speaker. 

The term ryam is applied to one another by men whose 
wives are sisters, or by women whose husbands are brothers. 

N.B. — ^The relationship denoted by the terms apo (opw), azo 
(apfil) may be to some extent gauged by the fact that a man when try- 
ing to speak of his unde or his aunt in Assamese, instead of saying ** My 
father's elder brother *’ (or “ younger brother ’*), etc., speaks of his * big 
father ” or his “ little father,’* as the case may be. 

The question of inheritance^ has been already mentioned 
in dealing with that of adoption. A man cannot, as a rule, 
without causing considerable indignation leave his property 
to any person outside his kindred, or at any rate his clan, 
except in a very modified degree to his daughters and their 
children. But, except in the matter of leaving land to 
daughters and in the reservation of one-third of the deceased’s 
personal possessions, including land, for the widow, all 
customary inheritance can admittedly be modified at will 
by the verbal directions of the bequeather, and a verbal 
bequest to a stranger would be admitted as valid and would 
probably imder ordinary circumstances be respected, and 
indeed the writer has himself benefited by such an one. 
Within the kindred, provided no special directions are given, 
the next male heirs inherit ; subject, that is, to the widow’s 
third, while among the Kezama the widow gets all the 
movable property. Only males can permanently inherit 
real property, and the males of one generation share alike. 
That is to say, if a man leaves no sons but several first 
cousins, these will divide the property equally. But in the 
case of sons inheriting from their father this is not so. The 
usual custom is for a man to divide the bulk of his property 
during his lifetime. When his sons marry and set up house, 
each receives his portion of inheritance from his father, and 
on the death of the latter the youngest son, even though he 

* The inheritance rules given here must be taken as general rules only. 
Custom varies slightly from village to village, though the general principle 
is the same. 






may have already been given his portion, inherits all the 
property, including the house, which is retained in his father’s 
hand at the time of his death, though he has to give the best 
field to the eldest son, taking another in exchange. This 
rule, however, may be modified and frequently is modified 
by verbal directions, while in one or two villages all the 
sons seem to inherit equally, though this, if actually the 
case, is unusual. Among the Memi the eldest son gives his 
portion to the youngest son and takes that which his father 
had retained. In the Khonoma group the son who inherits 
the house-site has to drag memorial stones to commemorate 
his parents and set them up in or near the village. 

The property of any son d3dng without male children 
during his father’s lifetime reverts to the latter, but after 
the father’s death it goes to the youngest son, who can 
keep or share it with his elder brothers as he pleases, while 
in the case of the younger son himself dying without a son 
his elder brothers share his property equally. Should there 
be neither father nor brother living, uncles or first cousins 
would inherit, then second cousins, and so forth, brothers 
among the inheritors sharing equally. In case of no relations 
being found, the kindred inherits, and failing any Idndred 
the clan. Under this custom, the death, when it does take 
place, of the last member of a kindred in any village who has 
left no verbal directions as to the disposal of his property 
may raise claims from villages at a great distance and based 
on involved descents from a distant and almost legendary 
ancestor. The death of a man in Samaguting, which was 
originally a composite village containing colonists from 
Khonoma, Mezoma, Sachema, Kohima, Merema, and other 
villages, produced claims to inherit from some kindred or 
other in nearly aU the Angami villages west of the Chakrima 
and Kezama groups. Fortunately for the settlement of the 
question, someone was found in Samaguting willing to take 
oath that he belonged to the same clan, and being resident 
in the village he succeeded in establishing his claim to the 
property. The inheritance of an adopted son would nor- 
mally be determined at the time of adoption, and if no 
verbal instructions were left the adopted son would probably 




be expected to take oath that the deceased had intended him 
to inherit as a son. As regards the portion given by a man 
to each of his sons during his lifetime, it should be noted that 
the gift is nullified, or may be regarded as nullified, by any 
disobedience of the father by the son. Thus, if a man find 
that his son is gambling away his portion and will not desist 
when told to do so, the father may revoke his gift, or, if he 
prefer, may merely put a prohibition on sale of the land. 
A revocation, however, during life would not prejudice a 
son’s rights of inheritance after death failing explicit direc- 
tions. Among the Memi the eldest and the youngest of 
the sons of a man djdng before he has given them portions 
take larger shares than the rest. 

It has been stated that a man cannot leave real property 
to his daughters. Failing sons, however, it is the practice 
among the Memi for the daughter to take all land purchased 
by her father during his lifetime. Except for this case 
among the Memi, a man cannot leave land in perpetuity to a 
daughter, and no woman can permanently inherit land of 
any sort, be it terraces, jhum land, building or garden land, 
or fire-wood plantations. Nevertheless, a man can leave 
as much land as he pleases to be enjoyed during the lifetime 
of the daughter to whom it is left, the property reverting 
to the male heirs after the death of the daughter. Personal 
property, including cash and cattle, is bequeathed to 
daughters absolutely. A woman’s own property goes to 
her children, her personal ornaments always to the 
daughters. Failing children, her property goes to her 
father’s heirs, who take all the ornaments of a woman djdng 
without a daughter, even if she has a son. 

In this connection, too, we have to deal with the difficult 
question of mengu, the custom governing the point varying 
between the Tengima and Chakrima villages most markedly, 
while minor variations occur from village to village. In 
the matter of rmngu, the Dzuno-Kehena group mostly 
follow the Chakrima custom, as do the Kezami and probably 
the Memi. 

Among Tengima mengu == the return given by a man to 
his wife’s relations in recognition of the fact that he has 


become rich through her help. Such a return is not com- 
pulsory unless the woman on her death-bed directs that it 
be given, but a small complimentary mengu^ consisting of 
the dead woman's hoe and some paddy, is usually given by 
the widower to her father’s family (c/. the Serna custom by 
which a bridegroom presents a hoe to his bride’s mother). 

Among the Chakrima rmrtgu = the return by a woman’s 
descendants to her paternal family of land, etc., bought with 
such items of her dowry as would, if unsold, have ultimately 
returned to her father’s family. The return takes place after 
the death of the woman’s children. [Under a standing order 
of the Deputy Commissioner Naga Hills claims must be 
made within six months of the claim becoming admissible 
by Angami custom. This limitation is not a part of the 
Angami usage, but has been found necessary for the purposes 
of courts of justice.] This system is applied to personal 
property given or bequeathed to daughters as well as to 
real property, but it is rarely that a full return of the 
bequest is expected or even asked. Indeed by the time 
two generations have elapsed from the date of the donor’s 
death it is exceedingly difficult to say exactly what was 
given to the original beneficiary, and very often a merely 
nominal sum is asked for in recognition of, and settlement 
of, the claim. Even where the identical land which has 
thus passed into the female line has been retained, the 
claim of the male heirs for the return of the land is often 
waived in consideration of a money payment representing 
a good deal less than the real value of the land. At the 
same time there is no definite proportion of the original 
sum which the male heirs are bound to take in satisfaction 
of the claim, and it is always open to them to insist on return 
of the original bequest in full, and though rarely if ever 
insisted on in the case of personal property, a full return of 
land is frequently required. The mere fact that a full 
payment of mmgu is neither made nor expected, except in 
the case of land, frequently causes a great deal of dispute 
as to what is a suitable amount to be given, in view of the 
property acquired by the original daughter, as the views 
of th^ male heirs vary, while those who have inherited 




from the daughter frequently attempt to avoid any sort 
of payment at aU. Sometimes^ of course, exorbitant 
demands are made, and the writer has not only known a 
case in which all the numerous offspring derived from a 
single cow were plaimed as mmgu in return of the aforesaid 
single cow which a man had given to his daughter two 
generations before, but also a case in which the half of a 
large property in land, cattle, and cash was claimed as 
mengu on the ground of the physical and mental abilities 
of the claimant’s ’ great-grandfather’s daughter. This 
estimable lady had received no portion from her father at 
aU, but such was her frugality and industry that though 
she and her husband possessed practically nothing when 
they were married, they left a great deal of property to 
their children. Needless to say the claim for mengu did 
not in this case prove successful. It would be possible, on 
the other hand, to mention rare instances to the contrary 
where a sum of Rs.20/*- or so has been accepted as mengu 
for terraces worth perhaps Rs.l20/-. The custom of mengu 
has been treated here under the head of inheritance, but 
at the same time it should be noted that it is inextricably 
involved in the question of dowries given with girls in 
marriage. Of course, when a man gives his daughter in 
marriage he usually gives property with her then, if he is 
going to give her property at all ; and this property is 
subject to mengu like all other property given during life 
or after death by a father to his daughter in those villages 
in which the Chakrima custom of mengu obtains. Thus, as 
the bulk of the property given by fathers to daughters is 
given at the time of marriage, mengu comes to be associated 
in thought with the dowry qvA dowry. Mengu, however, 
is really only a charge on dowries inasmuch as they are 
transfers of property to daughters. The Angami mind 
draws no fine distinction between gifts of property during 
lifetime and after death, still less between property given at 
the time of marriage and property given at some other time. 

Not unlike mengu is the custom relating to yipe, that is, 
a panikhet ” (or other property, ‘‘ jhum,” cattle, etc.) 
given among the Kezama to a bride by her parents or to a 




bridegroom by his. It remains the exclusive property of 
the recipient, but failing direct heirs retmns to the donor’s 
family. In the case of cattle given as yipe young bom 
after the marriage of the recipient become the joint property 
of husband and wife. Yipe may be sold, and this extin- 
guishes all hereditary or reversionary rights in it except 
when the proceeds of a sale of yipe are used to buy fresh 
land, in which case this land becomes yipe in place of the 
original gift. 

The question of property in land has been covered, at 
Land, any rate as far as buildings and terraced land and planta- 
tions are concerned, in dealing with inheritance. There 
are, however, one or two questions that have not arisen. 
In the first place, it has sometimes occurred that prisoners 
of war, though in the first place occupying practically the 
position of slaves in the household of their captors, have 
been given land to cultivate and have been received into 
the clan. In such cases the land has in course of time 
become regarded as the property of the descendants of the 
original prisoner. Still, should these descendants wish to 
return to their own village, they would have, according to 
strict Angami custom, to give back to the clan, the kindred, 
or the descendants of the original owner all the property 
acquired by them, however rich they might have become in 
the meanwhile. Such a case occurred recently in Kohima 
village, the descendants of a runaway Memi, who had been 
bought from his captors and received into the Dapetsuma 
clan, selling all their property and returning to their 
ancestor’s village after five generations. In this instance 
the claim of the clan was settled for a money payment. A 
second point arises in connection with jhum land. Terraced 
fields, wood plantations, gardens, building sites, and the 
greater part of jhum land is individual property and, subject 
to life interests, mortgages, etc., may be sold or otherwise 
disposed of at the will of the owner, though when selling 
an ancestral field the vendor retains a small fragment in 
nominal ownership lest he die or suffer misfortune. There 
is, however, in several Angami villages a certain amount of 
jhum land which, like land reserved for thatching grass 




or for the preservation of cane for bridges, is the common 
property of a kindred or a clan or of the whole village. 
The cultivation of land of this sort is settled either by a 
system of general consent, arrived at after much discussion 
and many searchings of heart, or by a system of grab under 
which the man who wishes to cultivate goes and sets a 
mark on the land of his choice, and provided no one else 
has been there before and that he has not attempted to 
get so much land as to deprive the other members of the 
clan of an opportunity to obtain a similar amount, his 
claim to cultivate that year and the following year is 
admitted. A series of cultivations by the same man in the 
same place appears to set up a private right to the particular 
plot, and it is no doubt in this way that private rights in 
land have arisen. In some trans-frontier villages all land 
is still common property of the village. Of course, in 
jhuming it is the practice for the village, or at any rate the 
clan, to jhum together, as collective jhuming saves a vast 
deal of labour in fencing and scaring birds. Indeed, a 
solitary patch jhumed by one household in the midst of 
surrounding jungle would stand a poor chance of surviving 
the depredations of birds and beasts. It is also not infre- 
quently arranged that jhuming operations shall be carried 
on on one side of the village, while cattle owners may graze 
in the opposite direction only. In such an event the man 
who wilfully went and jhumed in the wrong direction would 
have no claim to compensation from cattle owners for 
damages to his crop by cattle. Jhum land that has not 
yet become the subject of private rights cannot, of course, 
be sold except by the clan or kindred owning it, though with 
their consent it might be possible for a man to sell his 
share in the common rights. Jhuming, however, is of quite 
secondary importance^ in the Angami country, the Chakroma 
villages excepted. In these latter jhuming is practised 
almost to the exclusion of irrigated terraces. 

Property other than land is not subject to customary 

^ And for this reason common rights in land still survive. Where 
jhuming is the normal form of cultivation, private rights have superseded 
common rights, as among the Sernas and Aos. 




restriction except in so far as weapons and ornaments worn 
by men always go to male heirs. 

jttle- The annexation of the Angami country has probably 

Bputes. i^he internal arrangements of villages for 

their own ordering and governance. The Pehumas or 
chiefs, such as they were, seem to have had very little more 
authority than the ‘‘ Gaonburas ” nowadays appointed by 
Government, and that is saying very little. There occurred 
in some villages cases of the chieftainship passing on by 
inheritance. Stories are still remembered in Khonoma of 
two redoubtable chiefs, Dopule and Pelhu, who held sway 
over Khonoma, and the latter of whom is at present repre- 
sented in the person of Fezherr, one of the Gaonburas of the 
Merhema clan. It is most unlikely, however, that the 
hereditary nature of such chieftainships depended on 
anything more than the influence, wealth, and intelligence 
of the chief’s son’s enabling him to retain the position 
afforded him by that of his father. At best the chief’s 
position probably gave him no power except on the war- 
path. Nothing can be well managed by a debating society, 
but war not at all, and although a definite leader might be 
unnecessary for small head-hunting raids, pitched battles, 
such as sometimes took place, and expeditions on a large 
scale would necessitate someone’s taking the lead, while 
leadership in war would doubtless give influence, though 
not authority, in the village in times of peace. Major 
Butler writes^ : “ The authority or title of the chief of a 
village is hereditary. The eldest son, on the death of his 
father, or even before his death if very infirm, succeeds to 
the dignity. In most villages there are generally two 
chiefs* (representing the two ‘ kelhu ’ ?), but their authority 
is nominal. Their orders are obeyed so far only as they 

1 “ Travels and Adventures in Assam,” p. 146. 

* He is probably referring to Kemovos, not chiefs. The Kemovo is 
hereditary, and there are usually two of them, but they are not chiefs, nor 
necessarily leaders in war, pehuma. A French writer on the subject 
catches the Angami attitude very well : ** Ils n’ont point de chef ; 

‘ VolUt notre maltre ! ' disent-ils en fichant leur javelot en terre 
(” Nouvelle Geographic Universelle,” Vol. VIII, p. 398.) 




accord with the wishes and convenience of the community.” 
Captain Butler writes : ^ “ The Naga Peuma is, in fact, 
simply primus inter pares ^ and often that only pro iem*^ 
The Gaonburas of the present day hold very much the 
same position. They are not ordinarily hereditary, being 
appointed by the Deputy Commissioner, more or less on 
the nomination of the clan, but they are certainly without 
any more authority than the ancient “ Pehuma,” and more 
often than not are compelled to disgorge for the benefit of 
their clan the small sum which they are paid yearly as 
commission on their collection of house-tax. Of course, 
the personal element is always present, and Gaonburas 
may be found now and then commanding no little infiuence 
and respect, but as an institution not much attention is 
paid to them, except when the villagers, or a party of the 
villagers, wish for their services as a go-between with the 
local officials. Before the Deputy Commissioner’s Court 
was available, disputes, when settled at all, were probably 
settled by a sort of informal council of elders, who would 
discuss the matter under dispute with one another, the 
parties, and the general public at great length, until some 
sort of agreement was arrived at. Regular customs with 
regard to the manner of dealing with offences certainly 
existed, and in the absence of any higher authority there 
is no doubt but that the elders managed to arbitrate 
after some- fashion or other in most disputes. At the same 
time those who know the Angami will have some difficulty 
in realising how any except the most trifling disputes ever 
did get settled within the village, at any rate with any finality 
at all. To quote Captain Butler again : “ Every man follows 
the dictates of his own will, a form of the purest democracy 
which it is very difficult to conceive of as existing even for 
a single day ; and yet that it does exist here is an undeniable 

In deciding disputes questions of customs would be, and 
still are, referred naturally enough to the old men of the 
clan, and, as even the Angami has some respect for his 
elders, the decision of old men in regard to matters of custom 
^ Journal of Asiat. Soc., Pt. I, No. IV, 1876. 




is more or less final, though it sometimes happens that a 
young man will snap his fingers at custom and defy hu 
fellow-villagers to do their worst. Questions of fact are 
Oaths. usually decided by oath, and an oath, at any rate if the 
lives of others are made responsible for its truth as well as 
the life of the swearer, is usually accepted by either party, 
and is usually, provided always that it embraces a fairly 
large number of lives, say those of a kindred, evidence that 
the swearer and the others whose lives are offered believe 
in the truth of their case. Angamis are not usually willing 
to risk their lives by pledging them to the truth of a state- 
ment of a relative unless they are fairly well satisfied that 
the statement is true, for a false oath is held to entail death 
or at least misfortune as the result of it. Cases are every 
now and then quoted by Angamis in which So-and-so died 
as a result of taking a false oath. In a dispute involving a 
large tract of land between the villages of Keruma and 
Sihama a man of Keruma took an oath (as to the boundaries 
lying in a certain place) on the lives of all the village. 
When he fell ill the same year of a mysterious disease 
accompanied by horrid swellings and pustules over his 
whole body (such swellings are particularly associated with 
false oaths), his son went hurriedly to the spot where the 
boundary stones had been placed as a result of the oath, 
and destroyed the cairn set up by Keruma, in the hope of 
saving his father’s life by a renunciation of the claim, which 
was, however, reasserted a few years later. The chief 
diflSculty in settling disputes by oath is in finding the actual 
facts to the swearing of which both parties agree. In some 
cases there is naturally not much question about what these 
are to be, but it usually happens that one side wishes to insert 
some clause, often more or less, perhaps wholly, irrelevant, 
to which they know the other party cannot swear ; when, 
however, the facts to be sworn are agreed upon, the oath is 
administered, usually, but not necessarily, by a third 
party, to the swearer, who repeats the sentences after the 
administrator of the oath as couples being married repeat 
their “ troth ” in the Anglican ritual after the priest. The 
swearer turns his cloth so that the seams are outwards and 




undoes the knot in his back hair ; often but not always 
he “touches wood,” holding in his right hand a twig or 
piece of stick, perhaps as a symbol that the false swearer 
may wither like a dead twig. The various sentences are 
usually each emphasised by a downward motion of the 
right arm and hand both by the administrator and the 
swearer of the oath. After stating the facts sworn to and 
the number of lives responsible for their truth, the oath 
concludes with the formula : “ If I lie in what I now say, 
then betwixt heaven and earth, let me not grow like other 
men, but let me become as ruin, as burnt out fire, as rotted 
twine. The Memi form of the oath contains the 
expression “ huchi jukharhe nakhu ” — “ bury me between 
the inverted heaven and earth,” and a man wishing to swear 
a false oath tries to substitute for this phrase, or for part of 
it, the expression “huchu nari ” (= “cock’s genitals”), 
making nonsense of the whole oath, and it is said that this 
fraud every now and then succeeds in deluding the other 
side, and no doubt it is occasionally successful when the 
other party are of another group ordinarily speaking 
Angami, Kezami, or some other different dialect and not 
fully conversant with the Menu language. Some forms of 
oath, not now in general use among Angamis, are mentioned 

^ A che de hepuko ketidzu puro 

My now words spoken false speak-if 
Ihu me metu-meta kenyepfu 

grow men equal-other let me be forbidden 
kerri kerro tsu towe 

twine rotted let me do. 

A Serna oath runs : — 

“ As the aiyeshu rots, as the gourd-vine rots, let me rot ; let earth 
from a man’s grave choke me.” 

” Aiyeshu keghashi, apukhi koghashi, ighapeni ; akumo ayeghi-namo 

This would be accompanied by the biting of earth and a piece of the 
swearer’s own hair on the blade of a weapon. 

The oath on the village water is one of the strongest known to Sernas » 
and prevents the person who takes it falsely from eating fish and crossing 
streams. An oath on the Dayang river, which has a similar effect, is one 
of the most powerful in the Naga Hills, at any rate among the Lhota and 
Serna villages near the Dayang. An oath on the Tizu water has a similar 
power in the neighbourhood of that river. 

ti kidzil-nu donu 
sky earth-from between 
keka kemhe 
ruin bumt-out-fire 





by both Major and Captain Butler ^ ; the severing into 
two parts between them of a dog, fowl, or spear-head held 
by each of the two parties, or the pulling in half of a live 
fowl by the two parties, one holding its head and the other 
its leg, intimating that treachery or breach of the agree- 
ment would merit the same treatment ’’ ; the holding or 
biting a gun-barrel, spear-head, or tiger’s tooth with the 
declaration, If I do not faithfully perform this my promise, 
may I fall by this weapon,” or animal ^ ; and the standing 
within a circle of rope or cane and repeating a formula 
to the effect that if the swearer breaks his oath he may be 
caused to rot away as the cane rots. Captain Butler also 
mentions that one oath, “ generally voluntarily offered after 
defeat, is to snatch up a handful of grass and earth, and 
after placing it on the head, to shove it into the mouth, 
chewing it and pretending to eat it, one of the most 
disagreeable and literal renderings of the metaphorical 
term ‘ eating dirt ’ I have ever witnessed.” This last 
oath mentioned by Captain Butler is probably the oath of 
peace taken at the conclusion of hostilities, of which the 
formula ran : — 

If any man of my village break this peace first, then, 
so long as water flows in my spring and so long as the sun 
and the moon remain in the heaven, shall my men be 
defeated ; and all the forest and red earth shall not be 
enough to cover my corpses and much blood shall flow on 
my side.” 

Major Butler also mentions that on the taking of an 
oath between two villages a large stone would be erected 
as a monument with the words ‘‘ as long as this stone stands 
on the earth, no differences shall occur between us.” 

^ Major Butler, op, cit,, p. 164. Captain Butler, "Rough Notes on the 
Angami Nagas,” Joum, Asiat, Soc,, Pt. I, No. IV, 1876. 

* This form of oath is frequently used by the Sernas and Lhotas, a piece 
of earth, frequently from a grave, or in a land dispute from the disputed 
land, and a bit of the swearer's hair being added to the gun, spear, dao, 
or tiger’s tooth and bitten with them. The strongest form of an oath 
known to a Serna is that on his own flesh, and I have seen a Serna, to attest 
his innocence, snatch up a dao and chop a joint of the finger almost off, 
biting through the remaining fiesh and swallowing the fragment of his 
finger. In this particular case the oath was undoubtedly false, but the 
question was one of murder. 




With regard to oaths, it should be noticed that it is 
geima to take an oath on days between moons, non>moon 
days being known to the Kemovo. Angamis are also, 
generally speaking, exceedingly unwilling to take an oath 
as regards the future. If asked to do so they will usually 
reply that they do not intend to do anything contrary to 
the desire of the person asking them to swear, but that they 
might inadvertently do so under the influence of liquor or 
of some deity and thus unintentionally render themselves 
liable to the consequences of a false oath. In small matters, 
however, such as in the assessment of a village, it is possible 
to make the headmen less inclined to deception than they 
usually are by insisting on their expressing a solemn desire 
to be caught by a tiger or bitten by a snake should they 
tell a lie or conceal any person who should be assessed to 
revenue.^ Should an oath be taken as a result of agreement 
that an oath should be administered, the truth of the 
swearer’s statement would ordinarily be assumed, and if 
the oath were false he would have to abide by the conse« 
quences of perjury, whatever they might be. In the case, 
however, of an oath taken on several lives, any one of the 
persons responsible may at any time withdraw their life, 
in which case the oath is null, and to obviate this it is often 
agreed at the time of swearing that, in case of such a with- 
drawal at any future date, a fine of so many rupees will be 
paid by the swearer, or the land will revert to the other 
party, or that some other such penalty shall be forfeited. 
Should the oath prove manifestly false, the other persons 

^ Compare the oath of the Dusun of British North Borneo : — 

** 1 swear by Kenharingan above and by ln-the>earth, that 1 will speak 
the truth, if 1 do not do so, may a crocodile eat me, may a tree fall on me 
in the jimgle,” etc. (Joum, R, Anthrop. InatitiUe, Vol. XLIII, 1913, 
p. 439.) 

The formula of a tree falling on one in the jungle might easily be used in 
a Naga oath and would be in absolute consonance with the idea contained 
in the being eaten by a tiger or in other forms of unnatural death. Among 
the Lhotaa and Sernas death by the falling of (or from) a tree entails the 
same prohibitions as to the property of the deceased as being killed by a 
tiger. Man-eating crocodiles are, of course, unknown in the Naga Hills, 
though the Sernas have a legend of a huge fish that chmba up out of the 
water to eat man, and which can be speared by lying in wait near a baby 
in a basket, the monster being attracted by the crying of the child. 

L 2 




ment of 

whose lives have thus been placed in jeopardy will on their 
part claim compensation from the false swearer, and might 
in serious cases expel him from their community. An 
outbreak of small-pox in one of the Sopvoma villages in 
the Memi country three or four years ago was put down to 
the taking of a false oath and followed by the expulsion of 
the perjurer from the village. 

In a case in which a person accused of any crime against 
the social code failed to take an oath, he would be punished 
according to the customary rules. There are among the 
Angamis customary punishments for most faults, and no 
fine distinction is drawn in the punishment of offences 
between a purely social sanction and a definitely magico- 
religious sanction. Offences such as the breaking of genna 
would probably be punished with a fine paid to the village 
fund or to the clansmen, unless the circumstances were 
aggravated by some untoward consequence, when banish- 
ment, a favourite punishment with Angamis, for a longer 
or shorter duration of time would be inflicted. Rape was 
punished by the beating of the raptor by the kindred of the 
woman and by his expulsion from the village for three 
months. Theft was always punished by exacting from the 
thief seven times the value of the property stolen, the fine 
being paid to the victim of the theft, whose property was 
also returned to him if recovered. If the thief were so 
poor as to have no property with which to pay the sevenfold 
damages, he was beaten by the kindred of the victim, and 
it is said that his own kindred, if a different one, would not 
interfere. Further, the labelling of a man “ Ktrugurm^ 
“ thief,’’ inflicted great shame on the culprit.^ The same 

^ Among the trans -frontier Sernas theft is still occasionally punished 
with death. In 1912 Ghokwi, chieftain of a Trans-Tizu Sema (Ziimomi) 
village, had a complaint from a Tukomi Sangtam village tributary to 
him that one of his own villagers had committed theft in this tributary 
village. Ghokwi sent for the man and, finding the story true, speared 
him out of hand. Among the Cliangs, not only is the thief himself killed 
on the third offence (he is let off twice), but his wife and children are 
killed as well, an effective way of stopping hereditary tendencies to crime. 
It is a common and, as far as my experience goes, a true saying among 
Nagas, that the child of a thief will grow up a thief himself. Kohima 
jail at the moment of writing contains a Chang thief for whose blood half- 




holds good of the term “ Themu'' murderer/’ which 
conveys excessive ignominy. Three degrees of homicide 
were recognised. Homicide by accident was punished by 
seven years’ banishment from the village,^ and sometimes by 
confiscation of all land as well. This was sold by auction, 
though in the case of homicide by accident the bidding would 
not go high and the offender’s relations would be allowed 
to buy in the land at a price below its real value, while 
the offender might take away all personal property, 
including cattle. In the case of homicide in a fight a public 
meeting was held to decide on the facts. The guilty man 
was punished by the auction of all his property and seven 
years’ banishment, and called “ themu'^ Viselhu of 
Khonoma, who was convicted in 1914 of causing the death 
of a man of the Thevoma clan in the Thevoma-Semoma 
riot in 1906, asked for seven years’ imprisonment in 
preference to seven years’ banishment, on the ground that 
the latter would in this case have entailed the stigma of 
being called ihtwu"' In such cases the descendants or 
relatives of the murdered man would not be allowed to 
take revenge on the themu ” after his return, on pain of 
similar treatment in their turn. The most heinous form of 
homicide was that by stealth or treachery, perhaps in 
revenge for some real or fancied wrong, but not in open 

a-dozen trans -frontier villages are thirsting. He fled from one village to 
another, thieving in each, and in his last trans -frontier residence he ran 
matters so close that his wife and child were killed and he himself barely 
escaped with a split face. His wife’s relations are also waiting for him 
as being the cause of her death. I heard of a case of a woman thief among 
the Change, the sister of the man just mentioned, who was rolled in a 
mud-hole and stamped upon in the mud in order to punish her for her 
theft without doing her serious injury since she was a woman. Her 
husband’s property was also sold up entirely, but then the woman had 
stolen from the village cemetery, a very serious offence. The Lhotas 
used to sell their thieves to the Aos, who cut up the men and kept the women 
as slaves. 

^ For injuries not amounting to death the Lhota tribe expels for a lesser 
period. Quite recently a man named Mangethang was expelled from 
Phiro at the instance of the village for three years for causing a fellow- 
villager to fracture his leg. He threatened him so that he fell from a 
‘ machan.’ The Lhotas also used to deal most effectively with troublesome 
persons by putting their foot through a hole in a log and wedging it there 
so that they could only move about with difficulty. 




fight. It was dealt with as homicide in a fight, but not 
only the murderer but his whole kindred were expelled for 
seven years, and in some villages even for a whole generation. 
All these punishments refer, of course, to homicide within 
the village community, within which it is genna to kill, 
though what happened in the case of adultery, which is 
said by Angamis, and which is recorded by Captain Butler,^ 
to have been punished with the death at any rate of the 
guilty wife, in the days of Angami independence, it is 
dijBScult to say. Adultery nowadays is punished by divorce, 
the woman being deprived of her usual one-third share of 
movable property. In the case of infidelity on the part 
of the husband, divorce may follow, but the husband is 
not in any way penalised in such a divorce, which is treated 
as divorce by mutual consent, the wife taking one-third 
of the joint personal property. Probably in any of the 
cases above mentioned the general rule of expulsion would 
have been difficult to enforce as between different hostile 
clans in a village divided among itself. The murder of a 
man of one clan by another in such a viDage as Khonoma, 
Jotsoma, or Viswema would much more likely lead to 
fighting between the clans than to the murderer’s expulsion. 
In cases of difference between private persons of different 
villages, the vendetta, on which Major Butler lays so much 
stress,® would, of course, be the only and the inevitable 
method of settlement. Such a vendetta, entailing blood 
for blood at least until the tale of lives were equal, or perhaps 
with more likelihood, ad infinitum, each side wishing to be 
ahead of the score of the other, would probably embrace 
at least the kindred of the two parties. It would not, 
however, necessarily extend beyond the clan, and it would 
be quite possible for all the other clans in both villages to 
be friendly, while the clans of the respective parties to the 
vendetta were on head-taking terms. 

Prom a vendetta of this sort it is but a short step to 
definite war. War, however, among Angamis when inde- 
pendent, as among the independent Sernas to-day, contained 
elements of formality and even of a pomp and circumstance 
^ Loc, cit, ^ Op, cit,, p. 156. 




by no means associated with mere head-taking. The 
proper proceedings, preparatory to war, opened by the war. 
sending of a messenger to the village with which there was 
a dispute, or vdth which the challenging village desired a 
trial of strength. This messenger would probably be a 
man well versed in the dialect of the other village and 
known to them through trading operations if possible. 

He would challenge the village to do battle and would name 
the day, saying, ‘‘ The men of my village will come on such 
and such a day. Dur spears are very long, come out and 
try if you can eat them,” or giving some such message. 

Not a few such challenges have been sent in the past to 
Government Officers in charge of the Naga Hills District. 

The messenger might send the message through a third 
village or might go in person to the village challenged. 

In the latter case he would always run some risk of having 
his head taken for his impertinence, in which case informal 
hostilities would commence, but if his challenge were 
accepted the challenging village would come out to meet 
the challenged on the day named, both parties being in 
full dress and armed with shield, two or three spears each, 
and dao. 

Major Butler ^ mentions that before setting out on a war 
expedition ‘‘ the chief appointed to command the party 
consults the usual omens, which proving propitious, a 
fowl is killed and cooked, and all partake of it.” These 
omens would be taken in the ordinary way by slicing a 
piece of the chiese ” plant, after which the fowl mentioned 
by Major Butler would be strangled and the usual omen 
taken from the way it crossed its legs in death. For a 
good omen the right leg should cross over the left. 

Warriors going out to war may not carry their spears 
pointing back over their shoulders, the ordinary way, but 
must carry them pointing forwards or straight upright ; nor 
must they wear their clothes inside out (i.e., with the seams 

The opponents would halt at about a spear’s throw 
apart and start to argue, then to abuse each other. This 
^ Op. cit., p. 149. 




would be probably followed by a shower of stones from 
one side or the other till someone started throwing spears. 
By the time the two sides were thoroughly worked up the 
weaker spirits on both sides would have run away, and 
eventually one side or other, finding itself lacking in numbers 
or in courage, would take bodily to flight, often throwing 
away its weapons in the panic. Casualties would probably 
not be very heavy on either side, unless one was seized with 
a panic early in the proceedings, so that the other side was 
able to pursue in large numbers. After this the war would 
become a mere series of head-taking raids with no formality, 
carried on by both sides according to impulse and 
opportunity. Of course, war among Nagas, as among 
civilised nations, is by no means necessarily prefaced by a 
formal declaration, and more often than not would start 
by an ambush or a raid on the part of one of two villages. 
It is a well recognised fact that the village which gets the 
first blow in this manner scores heavily, as it gets perhaps 
twenty heads or more by taking the enemy imawares, 
whereas after both sides are on the look-out for raids it is 
difficult to get more than two or three at a time. At the 
same time, formal battles on a large scale have taken place 
on many well-known occasions. The challenge of Kekrima 
to Captain Reid has already been mentioned, and there is 
another case related by Klhonoma of their defeat by Kekrima. 
As the account comes from the defeated party, it may be 
received with a certain amount of confidence, and it is 
particularly interesting as showing a certain use of tactics, 
which are not usually associated with Naga operations. 
Mr. Hodson^ describes war among the Naga villages as 
at its best a blind struggle between mobs of in- 
dividuals, without guidance or coherence, never a 
conflict of well-organised masses with a view to 
intelligent co-operation/" but in the case of the Kekrima 
victory over Kkonoma, a village renowned for warfare, the 
success of Kekrima is ascribed to the studied disposition of 
the Kekrima forces. The Kekrima centre was formed of 
the usual type of Angami warrior armed with spears and 
^ Naga Tribes of Manipur,'* p. 113. 




shield, who advanced in the usual manner dancing, shouting, 
and spinning their spears. This main body, however, was 
supported on the right wing by a party of light infantry, so 
to speak, armed with daos only, and on the left wing by a 
party armed with the wooden mallets used for breaking 
clods of earth. The Kiionoma forces were fewer but awaited 
the Kekrima advance in a compact body with entire con- 
fidence, strong in the possession of twelve Tower muskets, a 
very formidable battery. The Khonoma artillery did 
succeed in repulsing the main body of the Kekrima attack, 
but the wings rushed in at a critical moment, probably 
when the redoubtable muskets were being reloaded, and 
did so much damage that the Kiionoma braves were forced 
to retire precipitately from the field with considerable loss, 
the enemy capturing some of their guns, a victory notable 
in the ^arpaxopLvojxaxLa of Naga warfare. Another 
episode likewise memorable among these “ battles of kites 
and crows ” was the assault on the Lhota village of Phiro 
by five Rengma villages helped by Jotsoma and Mozema. 
The allies are related to have tried to carry the defences of 
Phiro by assault, no easy matter, as they consisted of a 
twenty-foot ditch surmounted by a wall, the whole bristling 
with well-seasoned panjis. The repulse of the assault was 
followed by a sortie and Phiro added 100 heads to the 
collection in the village tree. The figures, however, come 
from Phiro itself and must be well salted before consumption. 
It has been mentioned before that the Angamis do 
not poison their weapons. Poisoning wells, however, 
has been practised by them. Major Butler ^ relates how 
the village of Chephama ‘‘ bruised and steeped a poison- 
ous root in the water ” of their well, with unfortunate results 
on the sepoys camping at the village. He adds that “ the 
Naga prisoners said that while the root was fresh its effects 
were what had been experienced (dizziness and heaviness 
of the upper eyelids) ; but if allowed to rot, it would kill all 
who partook of it in three or four days.” It is worth noticing 
that on one of the ‘‘ Mozungjami ” expeditions, the Chang 
village of Tuensang poisoned its well by collecting and 

^ Op, ciL, p. 113. 




depositing in it the dung of dogs, pigs, and fowls, and a 
number of sepoys and coolies contracted dysentery. Also 
during the siege of Kohima in the Angami rising the 
Khonoma braves put the head of a sepoy they had killed 
into the spring from which the garrison drew their water in 
order to poison them, or to prevent their use of the well. 

Prisoners taken in war were usually killed. It was, 
however, genna to kill any prisoner who had succeeded in 
touching with his lips the arm of any one of his enemies. 
Such a prisoner would be held to ransom, kept as a servant, 
or simply released. In the latter event peace, or at any 
rate a truce, would follow almost as a matter of course, the 
released prisoner intervening and affording an excellent 
excuse for a cessation of hostilities. Prisoners seem to 
have been frequently kept as servants, particularly women, 
but slavery as an institution and involving a trade in slaves, 
though existent, seems to have affected only a very small 
proportion of the population. Children were sometimes 
kidnapped and sold, and so were women. One of the inter- 
preters now on the Deputy Commissioner’s staff was a 
Rengma taken as a child by Angamis and sold to Kacha 
Nagas as a slave. There is a Lhota woman in Pongithung 
who was sold as a child to Kukis and has returned recently 
to her village at the age of about sixty. Most slaves, how- 
ever, seem to have been exceedingly well treated and 
eventually received into the community which they served, 
and the practice of selling slaves for execution and distribu- 
tion of their flesh, which prevails among the Konyak tribes 
north of the Dikhu and among the Rangpang^ Nagas, and 
which was occasionally practised by the Aos, did not 
apparently obtain among the Angamis. ^ Major Butler 
notes the value of slaves as estimated by Angamis : “A 
male slave is worth one cow and three conch shells, a female 

^ See “ Human Sacrifice in Ancient Assam,” Gait. 

• Among the Phoms a small boy of about ten years old will fetch from 
three cows to two mithan. Men will even sell their nephews or brothers 
at times, but not as a rule, unless they are thieves. When sold to Konyak 
villages they are usually cut up, but the Phoms themselves do not count 
killing a slave as taking a head, or say that they do not. 

Khonoma (J\'rK ani> Wai,l 

[To) ace p. 156. 



9 ^ 

slave is worth three cows and four or five conch shells.” ^ 
The torture of prisoners occasionally took place, though 
very very rarely. It is related that a party from Rekro- 
Kezama once caught a man of Kigwema alive and tied him 
up and kept him for a month, stoning him and clubbing 
him from time to time until he died. The torture of the 
Lhota warrior Chakarimo by Savi, chief of the Angami 
village of Phekekrima, has been already mentioned. The 
unfortunate Lhota was tied to a stake and had pieces cut 
from him by the bucks and boys of Phekekrima village. 
When he had been cut into 312 pieces he died, and the spot 
where the torture took place, between Phekekrima and 
Chekrama, is still called “ Chekarimo Zhikenu.” Major 
Butler mentions ^ the execution of a Jotsoma coolie by 
Kacha Naga warriors of Lakema, who tied the man to 
a tree and used him as a target for spears. But on 
the whole torture seems to have been the exception, and 
rarely indulged in by Angamis.® 

The Angami precautions against the assault of a village 
were elaborate. Most of their precautions have been noticed 
in describing the village, and it is enough to add that when 
anticipating attack they would escarp the sides of the hill 
on which the village stood, protect by pits and panjis all 
possible routes of approach, remove at night the poles which 
served as bridges for ditches and ladders for walls, and 
collect large masses of stones, both for rolling down the 
hill on to the approaching enemy and for use as missiles 
proper. The remarkable lengths to which a powerful 
village might go in elaborating its defences may be gathered 
from the map of Khonoma made by Major Butler after its 
capture in 1850.* 

^ Op. cit.f p. 157. ® Op. cit., p. 169. 

* 1 am inclined to think that these stories of torture are always open to 
grave suspicion. A gruesome tale of the torture by a Yachumi village of 
a Sema prisoner was recently brought to me in Mokokchung which proved 
to be a pure invention. A Sema raider having been wounded by the. 
enemy and having hidden in the jungle, his friends came home and related 
how his hands and feet had been cut off, and he had been dragged round 
the village and tortured to death by the enemy. Two days later he 
turned up alive. The torture of human beings is quite contrary to Naga 
sentiment generally. * Op. ciu, p. 199. 






While war might be occasioned by a varied number of 
circumstances, a private feud, a land dispute, mere lust of 
blood, anything, in fact, from a rude remark to the taking 
of a head, the general cause usually ascribed to the 
outbreak of war by Angamis is increase in male population. 
War is regarded as the certain accompaniment of an 
increase in the number of the village bucks, and the con- 
clusion of peace as the no less certain result of a marked 
diminution in the same. After the opening conflict a 
state of war must usually have meant no great drain in 
population, but merely the taking of occasional heads. It 
would ordinarily be ended by one side's happening to lose 
heavily either in raiding or by an epidemic of disease, or 
perhaps by a common desire on both sides to cultivate in 
safety. The oaths taken at the conclusion of peace have 
been given above, and the cessation of hostilities would be 
symbolised by the blunting of a dao, hammered upon a 
stone till the edge was destroyed. Among some of the 
Angamis the making of peace was also marked by the 
sacrifice of a cat.^ In many cases one side would agree 
to pay annual tribute to the other, the tribute being either 
merely a nominal one of a few beads or a substantial payment 
in mithan or salt. The contingency of conquest does not 
usually occur, though some of the Kacha Naga villages 
seem to have been entirely dominated by settlements of 
Khonoma Angamis who superimposed on them their own 

Head-hunting as an accompaniment of the blood feud 
and of war has been mentioned, but so much significance 
has been attached to the practice that it possibly deserves 
some special notice. Some recent writers on the tribes of 
North Borneo^ have sought for an explanation of the 

^ The two Phom villages of Hukpaiig and Ourangkong are often at 
war. When they make peace they kill a slave and hang up his head in 
the place where the fighting began. 

2 This, no doubt, was partly due to the razing of Khonoma viUage and 
the dispersal of its population after the Angami rebellion. It was some 
time before the population was allowed to return at all, and many seem to 
have remained for good in Kacha Naga, and some Memi, villages. 

• “ The Pagan Tribes of North Borneo,” Hose and McDougal, 1912. 




practice in a desire for the h^tir for the ornamentation of 
the shield and the sword-hilt, or in the custom of killing 
slaves to accompany a dead chief beyond the grave. 
Neither suggestion seems to hold good of the Angamis, 
The first would, at any rate if appUed to the Angamis or 
other Naga tribes, appear as an inversion of cause and effect, 
while the second practice is not known in the Angami 
country. Head-hunting in one form or another is a wide- 
spread practice, and whatever the various incidents of 
head-hunting in various quarters of the globe, the ultimate 
reason of its existence in any particular spot must probably 
be sought in some deep-rooted and innate characteristic of 
human nature.^ Among the Naga tribes, at any rate, 
head-hunting, though associated with a vague idea of the 
benefits accruing from human sacrifice, must also be 
connected in no small degree with ordinary, everyday 
human vanity. What man, or at the least what Naga, 
who has killed his enemy does not want to boast about it ? 
And unless he can show the body, where is the proof ? 
Most savages are somewhat economical of truth ; at any 
rate the Naga is when it comes to his exploits in war and 
the chase. If the slayer can produce the body of the slain 
his statement is likely to be accepted as true, and since 
retrieving the body would be a laborious, not to say often 
dangerous, proceeding, the head is the natural part of it to 
bring back as testimony, as it gives a definite assurance that 
the foe has been killed, not scotched. This at any rate is 
the Angami explanation.^ Moreover, if it can be retrieved, 

^ It is worth quoting from Mr. O. Henry : — 

“ Truly the . . . merry head-hunter . . . reduced art and philosophy 
to a simple code. To take your adversary’s head, to basket it at the 
portal of your castle, to see it lying there, a dead thing, with its cunning 
and stratagems and power gone — Is there a better way to foil his plots, 
to refute lus arguments, to establish your superiority over his skiU and 
wisdom ? ” 

2 Among the Lhotas any human flesh brought into the village on 
return from an expedition is “ vetted,” so to speak, by a board of old 
men, who sit and hold a sort of inquest on the flesh produced to make 
sure that it really is what it is stated to be by the bringer. And until 
the trophy has been passed by this board no ceremony can be performed 
for the success. I am indebted to Mr. J. P. Mills for having drawn my 
attention to this point. 




the Angami does prefer the whole body, and if the whole 
body is not available he will take the arms, hands, legs, and 
feet of the corpse as well as its head.^ And in this con- 
nection it must also not be forgotten that the Naga does not 
fight in the open country and under the eyes of his fellows, 
but in heavy jungle and in raiding parties of small numbers 
from one upwards,^ where none can observe his deeds of 
daring. Nor does the Naga make so very radical a distinc- 
tion between human heads and heads of game. Man is 
the biggest game and the most dangerous game, and his 
pursuit is therefore attended with precautions which may 
be unnecessary in the case of smaller game, but he is still 
game. There is, after all, not so much to separate a 
sportsman’s desire for, say, a fine btiffalo head and a Naga’s 
desire for the head of a man. Most Britishers are head- 
hunters at heart, and to a Naga every sort of head is welcome. 
All the skulls of larger animals killed by him are religiously 
kept, from that of an otter to that of an elephant, while 
even the heads of small birds may often be seen nailed to 
his house. As the Naga kills primarily for food, he recog- 
nises no differences in sex or age, and although he 
undoubtedly takes a pride in killing, say, a sambhar with a 
fine head, yet the heads of does and fawns are hung up as 
trophies beside it. So it is with his human heads. He 
recognises no distinctions between human heads provided 
they have cut their teeth ; if they have not cut their teeth 
they are not taken. 

Up to a certain point then, and with the exception that 
the flesh of most animals is eaten and man’s is not, the 
distinction between the pursuit of man and of animals is 
one of degree rather than of kind.^ It is true that the 
successful hunting of man is followed by genna, but so in 

^ In any case cuts are made in the arms and legs of the victim in order 
to entitle the slayer to the armlets and leggings that form part of the 
warrior’s insignia. 

* Small and stealthy raids for heads are called “ RuztUsu ” in contra- 
distinction to “ Budiset'* a war expedition. The omens are taken in the 
same way for the former as for the latter already described. 

■ See, in particular, the gennas for head-taking and for successful 
hunting in Part IV. The similarity is striking. 




varying degrees is that of animals. A strict genna precedes 
the robbing of bees’ nests — ^a somewhat more dangerous 
game than ordinary hunting ; a genna follows a successful 
chase of a tiger or leopard. Again the killing of a man 
entitles the killer to certain distinctive articles of dress, 
but so does the killing of a leopard or tiger. Among the 
Angamis this only goes as far as the shield on which the skin 
may be worn, but among the Sernas it entitles a man to 
wear a boar’s tush collar, one of the recognised signs of 
head-taking, and among the Rengmas and some of the 
Lhotas to a distinctive cloth also usually associated with the 
killing of man. Of course, Naga tradition associates man 
and the tiger very closely together. It may be noticed in 
this connection that among the Konyak tribes it is common 
for a slave to be bought for the chief’s son to kill in order 
that the boy may wear ceremonial dress without risking 
the dangers of war. The wretched slave is tied up and the 
boy kills him with a dao, pieces of his flesh being distributed 
throughout the young men of the Morung. This custom 
brings us nearer to another idea which underlies head-taking, 
and that is the idea of sacrifice, the notion that the killing 
of a human being is conducive to the prosperity of the 
community or of the crops. Here again we find among the 
Lhotas a parallel between head-taking and fishing, as the 
yield of the harvest is connected, in some villages at any 
rate, Changsang, for instance, with the success or failure 
of village fish-“ poisonings.” The idea, however, of the 
benefit conferred by human flesh, or the taking of human 
life, is a very strong one among Nagas, though it is perhaps 
disappearing under the present regime of peace. Major 
Butler ^ mentions the sale of a Kachari boy by some 
Angamis to some men of a Lhota village : “A man of the 
village having died immediately after the purchase, it was 
considered a bad omen, and that ill-luck had befallen 
them on account of this captive child. They, therefore, 
flayed the poor boy alive, cutting ofiE his flesh bit by bit 
until he died . . . then divided the body, giving a piece of 
flesh to each man in the village to put into his ‘ dolu/ a 
^ Op. cit.f p. 189. 




large corn basket. By this they suppose all evil will be 
averted, their good fortune will return, and plentiful crops 
of grain will be ensured.’' It is no doubt partially with the 
same notion that Naga coolies taken on trans-frontier 
expeditions so carefully save up little bits of ‘‘ meat ” to 
put in the Morung when they return, and to divide among 
their kindred. Only quite recently some Lhotas of Chingaki 
were punished by the Deputy Commissioner for going across 
the frontier and buying some flesh of a person killed in a 
head-taking raid, and selling part of it to another village 
after their return. The Angamis too had a custom, to 
quote Major Butler, ‘‘ of cutting off the heads, hands, and 
feet of any one they can meet with, without provocation 
or pre-existing enmity, merely to stick them up in their 
fields and so ensure a good crop of grain.” Finally, the 
late Mr. A. W. Davis, writing in 1898^ as Deputy Com- 
missioner of the Naga Hills, says, 

“ There can be no doubt that all the tribes in this district 
consider that by killing a human being in certain cases 
they are doing the most effectual thing towards averting the 
displeasure of some particular evil spirit {terhoma). Amongst 
the Angamis especially this idea is very prevalent, and there 
have been two cases of murders committed within the last 
five years near Kohima, the only object of which was to 
propitiate an evil spirit. I will describe these cases in 

“ (a) Kigwema case. — ^In the autumn of 1891, small-pox, 
which was very prevalent, attacked the two lower hhels ^ 
of Kigwema village, and a large proportion of the inhabitants 
died. The two upper Ichels, the people of which all had 
been vaccinated, remained free of the disease. As, however, 
Nagas had at that time but little faith in vaccination, the 
people of these two khels determined to make themselves 
as safe as possible. A village council was therefore called, 
and it was decided that four men should be sent out to 
bring in a head as offering to the ‘ terhoma ’ in order that the 
plague of small-pox might be averted. Four men were 
accordingly sent. They went and lay in wait by the 
cultivation path of a neighbouring village, and killed a 

^ Gait, “ Human Sacrifices in Ancient Assam.” 

Khel here is the part of the village inhabited by a clan — thinot and 
the clan occupying it. 




woman, a small boy, and the baby he was carrjdng as they 
were returning alone from their fields. The baby’s head 
and an ear each from the other two were cut off, carried 
away, and buried in the vicinity of the murderers’^ village. 
This murder was, from the Naga point of view, eminently 
successful ; the angry deity was appeased, and the two 
upper khels of Kigwema remained exempt from the disease, 
which decimated the two lower hhels. A similar case under 
exactly similar circumstances is said to have occurred at 
the village of Jakhanja near Kigwema during the previous 
epidemic of small-pox which occurred about twenty years 

‘‘ (6) There is a very general superstition among the 
Angamis and Senias that to kill a human being and place a 
small portion of the flesh in the murderer’s fields is a specific 
to ensure a good crop, and this is said to have been the 
reason that prompted certain men of Purobami to murder 
two men, a woman, and a child near the Sijju River towards 
the end of 1895. The two men were partially scalped, while 
the child was taken away alive and killed outside the 
village. Murders like these partake of the nature of sacrifices, 
as their object is to avert disaster and so to ensure good 

“ Before we annexed their country, the Aos were great 
slave owners, and these slaves were occasionally made use 
of for a semi-sacrificial purpose, e.g., two villages are at 
war and are desirous of making peace. It is found that 
one side has taken more heads than the other. To make 
things equal, and as a sacrifice to the spirits of the dead 
who have gone unavenged, an agreement would be arrived 
at that the village which had taken the fewest heads should 
receive one or more slaves from the other village.^ These 
slaves were bound and left at a spot agreed upon beforehand. 
There they were found by the young men of the receiving 
village, who killed them and carried off their heads in 
triumph. Thus were the spirits of their dead restrained 
from troubling the living. A case of this kind, in which 
Kanching gave, and Ungma village received, slaves, 
occurred not very long before we took over the Ao country. 

“ I have been frequently told by Aos that human 

^ The ringleader was that Kasakre of whom a sketch by Colonel Wood- 
thorpe is reproduced in this volume. 

• Longsa, when they attacked Kanching, lost many heads, and Kanching 
only one, but when making peace Longsa are said to have given Kanching 
a slave to kill in place of the man they had lost. 


i 62 



sacrifices are not infrequent among certain of the Trans- 
Dikhu tribes. The method is said to be as follows : When 
the village jhums are ready for firing, a slave is tied up in 
the middle of them. The jhums are then lighted, and the 
slave is burnt to death. A sacrifice like this ensures a 
good crop.”^ 

As regards the disposition of heads, we find one frequent 
difference between the treatment of those of animals and 
those of human beings. The heads of domestic animals 
are, it is true, set up in the fields where they have been 
sacrificed by those tribes who sacrifice in the fields, 
but the heads of animals killed in hunting are invariably 
hung up in the house of the hunter, with the exception 
usually of the skulls of tigers and leopards. On 
the other hand, heads taken from human beings are, 
by the Lhotas, Rengmas, and Sernas, always hung up in a 
tree, usually somewhere near the edge of the village. The 
skull is bored and hung up by a cane string. It has been 
suggested that the practice of hanging captured heads in a 
tree is a survival of tree-burial, but it is to be noticed that 
the Aos and the Konyak tribes, which regularly practise 
tree-burial in the ordinary way, do not put the heads they 
capture in trees, but hang them in their houses or their 
“ Morungs,” or in the house of their chief,® while the heads 
of animals killed in the chase are often put up in the 
“ Morung ” also. The Angamis bury the heads taken from 
their enemies face downwards in the earth. 

It has been remarked that the Naga knows no distinction 
between heads. That does not mean to say that he does 
not pride himself on the killing of a redoubtable enemy, as 
distinct from killing women and children, though his rather 
bloodthirsty omnivorousness in slaughter may be gathered 
from a report by Mr. Camegy, Political Officer in the Naga 

^ I have made many inquiries, but so far failed entirely to locate or 
find any trace of this practice. I am of opinion that the report was incor- 
rect, and an Ao invention. The Aos are very particular liars where their 
enemies are concerned. 

• The Changs and Konyak tribes divide the head, the “ second spear ” 
taking the top or back of the skull, or, if there are three in at the death, 
the left half of the face, the top or back piece being then given to the third 




Hills, of an incident in 187(> : “In the middle of July a 
party of forty men of Mozema went over to Kohima and 
were admitted by one of the khels (clans) friendly to them, 
living next to the Puchatsuma quarter, into which they 
passed and killed all they could find, viz., one man, five 
women, and twenty young children. The people of the 
other clans made no effort to interfere, but stood looking 
on . . . one of the lookers-on told me that he never saw 
such fine sport (i.e,, the killing of the children), for it was 
just like killing fowlj^ ! ” Still it would seem that heads 
taken by deliberate treachery as opposed to surprise, i,e.y 
by inviting a man to partake in some friendly act and then 
killing him unawares, were reckoned as different in some 
way from heads taken in the ordinary raid, as they are 
said to be represented on the warrior’s shield by inverted 
heads. Also as regards heads taken from women and 
children there is some reason to believe that under certain 
circumstances they were more highly valued than those 
taken from men, provided, in the case of children, that the 
teeth were cut. Hodson mentions this point, ^ and Colonel 
Shakespear throws doubt on it, but there is a case worth 
recording which goes far to substantiate its truth. ^ In 
1911 Captain Porter, of the 17th Infantry, then quartered at 
Kohima, went on a shooting trip into the Lhota country. 

' “ The Naga Tribes of Manipur,” p. 1J4 and note. 

I am indebted to Captain Porter for this incident, which was related 
to me by him shortly after it took place. Since writing the above another 
fact has come to iny notice which seems to clinch the argument. The 
Sernas have a regular foimula of praise whieli they sing for a man whom 
they wish to honour, saying that he has taken the head of a girl of such 
and such a trilie or village. For instance, I heard the following sung in 
answer to a request for a Serna song : — 

0 Sakhalu no Ahor-Umi i pu ghii ihoh, ihohj ihoh-ii. 

O Kohazu asa likighii ihoh, etc, 

O Ilheli alho ve ihoh, etc. 

i.e., “ Saklialu took-and-brought-back (the head of) an Abor girl, Kohazu 
cut-off-and-put-in-his-ear (a bit of her) hair ; Ilheli was pleased.” This 
formula is applied to anyone else, substituting another tribe or village 
for Abor, the name of the hero’s younger brother for Kohazu, and of liis 
wife for Ilheli. The Sakhalu, it may be noticed, here mentioned, went 
on the Abor expedition as a scout and took six male heads, but the use of 
“ ilimi ” (a girl) is constant. 

M 2 




Accompanied by some men of Phiro he was benighted near 
the Bengma village of Infoma. The Gaonbura only admitted 
him and his Lhota companions to his house with great 
reluctance and flatly refused to feed the Lhotas. After- 
wards, on inquiring the reason of this unlooked for lack of 
hospitality, Captain Porter discovered that there was an old 
enmity between his host and his “ shikari.” In the days of 
their youth there had been a very pretty girl in Phiro, aU 
suitors to whose hand had been rejected. At last her 
mother said that she should marry whichever of her suitors 
would bring her the ears of an Angami girl. The ears were 
brought ; the “shikari” with Captain Porter was the eartaker 
and successful suitor ; the wife of the headman of Infoma 
has no ears ; Hinc illae lacrimae. The reason given to 
Captain Porter for the specification of an Angami girl was 
that the warriors worked at the cultivation furthest from the 
village, above them the young men, then the old men, then 
the old women, and then nearest to the village the young 
women and children, and to get a pair of ears from the latter 
meant penetrating the enemy’s ranks at the risk of the 
aspirant’s head, both going and coming back. Infoma is 
not really an Angami village, but it contains an admixture 
of Angami blood, while it is possible that the headman’s 
wife may have come from one of the neighbouring Angami 
villages, as most tribes are bilingual along their marches 
and intermarry freely. Of course the heads of women 
and children were often taken under less romantic circum- 
stances than these, a favourite method being to lie up at 
dawn by a neighbour’s well, to take the head of the first 
woman or child coming to draw water, and to decamp 
with all speed, setting panjis to delay pursuit. And additional 
reasons for special value being attached to a woman’s 
head are probably to be found in the greater amount of 
long hair to be obtained for the purpose of garnishing a 
warrior’s insignia, and most of all in the inevitable reduction 
the killing of a woman would effect on the birth-rate of the 
hostile village. Surprise was essential to a head-taking 
raid, and if a party found a village prepared for them the 
valiant warriors would almost certainly turn back home 


again. It is agreed by all Angamis, as well as by other 
Nagas, that head~taking was essential to marriage in so far 
that a buck who had taken no head, and could not wear the 
warrior’s dress at festivals, not only found it exceedingly 
difficult to get any girl with pretensions to good looks or to 
self-respect to marry him, but was held up to ridicule by 
all the girls of his clan. 

Among the Angamis the good old days of head-hunting 
have gone. Girls who wish to maiTy cannot now afford 
to be so particular. The distinctive marks of the successful 
warrior are assumed on the fictitious grounds of having 
thrust a spear into a corpse or even of having gone as a 
coolie upon an expedition on which killing took place. ^ 
But though the flesh is withheld the spirit is willing. 
Surreptitious heads are still sometimes brought back from 
punitive expeditions, on which a crowd of interpreters and 
Naga coolies follow in the wake of the sepoys, uttering 
loud yells and transfixing with their spears the corpses 
of the slain. It is related that at the taking of Makware 
village a Naga clerk of the Deputy Commissioner’s staff, 
educated in speech and civilised in dress, having failed to 
provide himself with a spear, was seen dancing in vociferous 
triumph over the corpse of an enemy and with horrid yells 
plunging his umbrella again and again into the wounds. 

But it is not everyone who is so fortunate as to accompany, 
armed even with the humble umbrella, a trans-frontier 
expedition from which to bring back bits of scalp, or ears, 
or toes, while the desire to perform the ancient ceremonies 
comes to many, and among the Sernas, Rengmas, and 
Lhotas, if not the Angamis, it is a favourite expedient to 
cut off the tail, or some of the hair of the tail, of a neighbour’s 
mithan or cow, and to follow up this feat of chastened 
valour with the genna performed for the taking of a head. 
As an animal treated in this way loses at least half its 
value^ — ^it can no longer be slain for any ceremony — the 

^ In the Konyak village of Anting, annexed about five years ago, tne 
young men have already taken to wearing ceremonial dress with the 
insignia of the head-taker after spearing a wooden dmnmy, since the real 
thing is no longer obtainable. 




almost invariable result is a case in court, and the culprit 
is not infrequently detected by his too hasty eagemeas to 
perform the rites, though he sometimes waits imtil he 
thinks the affair has blown over so that he can celebrate 
in safety. Thefts, too, are sometimes regarded as fit 
occasions for the performance of the genua. The Ao regards 
stealing from the plains as a meritorious action, while the 
Serna is apt to take a similar view as regards the Ao, whose 
cattle serve the double purpose of giving him an excuse 
for a genna and the wherewithal to perform it. A lock of 
hair from the head of a living person is also made to serve as 
a substitute, at a pinch, for the head from which it is cut, 
and almost all Nagas except those in service are most 
unwilling to cut their hair, except in their own villages, 
as, of course, the utilisation of a lock of their hair as a 
substitute for a head would entail, as a result of the genna 
performed by the taker of the hair,^ death, or at least dire 
misfortune, to the man from whose head it was cut. 

The taking of heads in this life, however, does not seem 
to have any connection in the Angami mind with life in 
another world, except in so far as the headless man cannot 
get to the abodes of Kepenopfii, whence the great imwilling- 
ness of all Nagas to allow the heads of their killed to be 
taken by the enemy, if it can possibly be helped. The 
Konyak tribes fight in pairs, so that if one man is wounded 
or killed the other can drag away liis body and save the 
head. Losses also seem to be by all Nagas counted primarily 
in heads rather than in lives. The tale of a warrior’s 
heads is recorded on his grave, but then so is that of the 
tigers he has killed, and it does not seem likely that he would 
wish to be accompanied and served by tigers in the life 
beyond, Avhile the same principle, if applied to the tale of 
his liaisons^ which is likewise recorded on his tomb, would 
cause a confusion among deceased Angamis seventyfold 
greater than that suggested in the famous riddle of the 

^ Among the Change a man who loses his way in the jungle cuts off a 
bit of his hair, and puts it in a stick as an offering to the spirit (believed 
to be that inhabiting the python) which has ensnared him, after which 
he never fails to find his way home. Sernas similarly placed cut off a bit 
of the fringe of their cloth for the spirit of the forest. 

{VUoio it‘i Vnpt Ihiiithi/ 

An(jami Bride drying Paddy and rujxing Thukad 

[To J ace p. Ki? 




Sadducees, of the woman who had married seven brothers, ^ 
at least if the deceased’s own coimt were accepted. There 
is nothing in the Angami eschatology to suggest that he 
believes his victims in this world will accompany him into 
the next. 

The position of women among the Angamis would at Positio 
first sight appear to be but a low one. By the Tengima 
proper and Chakroma she is debarred from inheriting 
land at all, while among the Eastern Angamis she can only 
inherit subject to the reversion of the property to the male 
line on the deatli of her sons, or to a substantial payment in 
lieu of such reversion. At the same time she is, of course, 
free to purchase and possess land and transmit purchased 
land to her posterity absolutely. Again, not only is 
relationship through the female side not recognised, but its 
very existence does not seem to be realised, and a man who 
can enumerate his male ancestors for fourteen generations 
cannot name his grandmothers for four. As for his collateral 
relatives on the female side, he knows nothing whatever 
about them. Mr. Davis, writing of Naga women in general, 
goes so far as to say that after marriage they ‘‘ become mere 
household drudges. ”2 

With this latter proposition, however, we can in no wise 
agree, at any rate not in so far as Angami women are 
concerned, nor for that matter Serna women eithei’. 
However low the legal status of the Angami woman may 
seem, her position in the household makes it true that in 
the Naga Hills, as elsewhere, ‘‘ women are a very strong 
folk.” The husband expects absolute fidelity from his 
wife, but, at any rate in the case of the ordinary villager, 
he renders a fair measure of it himself in return, and while 
in all domestic matters the wife is an equal partner, con- 
sulted by and consulting with her man, a woman is, in 
Tengima villages, usually the holder of the village office of 
First Reaper {Lidepfu), While hunting and warfare fall 
to her husband’s lot, as weaving and cooking to hers, 

^ See also under “ Marriage,” Part IV of this book. 

* Assam Census Report, 1891, p. 250. 




agriculture and, in some degree, trade are carried on by 
both together. When a guest is to be entertained the 
wife assumes the rdU of hostess ; in family quarrels she is 
usually to the fore. In the question of the marriage she 
is allowed a freedom of choice that will easily bear com- 
parison with the freedom of choice which she exercises in 
the most civilised of nations. Her parents, it is true, may 
resort occasionally to a good deal of persuasion in regard 
to matrimonial projects. They never resort to force, and 
cases of girls married against their inclinations are exceed- 
ingly rare. In the last resort she is always able to evade a 
distasteful alliance by conveniently dreaming dreams of 
ill-omen at the critical point. Polygamy is not practised, 
and Hurukhe of Kohima, formerly head interpreter to the 
Deputy Commissioner, is the only Tengima Angami known 
to have had two wives at the same time, though there is 
nothing to prevent their having a number in succession. 
The Memi do have two wives at the same time more 
frequently, but they too look on the practice with a good 
deal of disfavour. Among most Angamis the price of a 
bride is merely nominal, a few chickens, a couple of pigs, 
and a spear, but in some of the Chakroma villages, Chephama 
for instance, sums of from twenty to a hundred rupees are 
paid. Divorce is easy to obtain ; incompatibility of temper 
is a quite sufficient reason ; and unless she is herself divorced 
for adultery the woman always obtains a third of the joint 
property exclusive of land. As a widow, though entitled 
to nothing but her third (except in the Eastern Angami 
villages, where, if childless, she gets the whole of the 
property other than land), she is usually provided for by 
her husband’s relations, that is, if the husband before 
death has not given directions for provision for her, which 
he usually does. She can also remarry where and when 
she pleases, provided only that she may not remarry from 
her deceased husband’s house. She must go back to the 
house of her father or of his male representative. Mr. 
Davis remarks, “It is wonderful how soon after marriage 
a Naga woman loses her good looks, if she ever had any. 




As soon as ever she has had a child she takes no further 
care about her personal appearance.” As far as the Angami 
woman goes this is absolutely true of most, and it possibly 
indicates the strength of her position. 

The Angami woman before marriage is given a very 
great deal of liberty, though the extent to which she takes 
advantage of this has possibly been exaggerated. Mr. 
Davis, speaking not of Angamis in particular, but of Nagas 
generally, says : “ I should say that it was very rare for a 
girl not to have at least one lover.”^ Customs, however, 
differ in this respect in a very great degree between different 
tribes. While the Ao girl is bound to admit men to the 
girls’ houses at night, chastity before marriage prevails 
among the Sernas, where the marriage price of a girl is 
reduced at least 50 per cent, by the fact of her having had 
an intrigue. The Angamis would seem to fall somewhere 
between the Ao and the Sernas, for while separate girls’ 
houses do not exist in Angami (Tengima) villages, though 
they are found in Memi villages, * girls are not looked after 
with the same jealousy as that with which a Serna girl is 
watched until her marriage. Accurate information as to 
the precise degree of chastity observed by Angami girls is 
very difficult to obtain. When asked about it, Angamis 
usually admit that it is common for a girl to have a lover, 
but they deny that it is the rule, and say that some do have 
one and some do not. It is also usually averred by them 
that public opinion is against it, and that a girl who is 
found out is subjected to a great deal of ridicule, while a 
girl believed to be fickle or known to have transferred her 
affections from one lover to another finds it very difficult 
to get anyone to marry her. Mr, Davis, still speaking of 
Nagas in general, has said that a girl’s lover “ would as a 
rule belong to the girl’s own khd (i.c., thino) and would 
be a man whom it would be impossible for her to marry 

^ In some Memi villages the girls share the same morung as the young 
men, the boys sleeping on an upper platform, the girls on a lower 
Publicity is probably an efficient bar to flirtation. 

* Assam Census Keport, 1891. 


in any case.”^ In the copy of Assam Census Report for 
1891 which belongs to the Subdivisional Office at Mokok* 
chung, the late Mr. Noel Williamson, a careful observer, 
made the following marginal note against this statement : 
** I think that this is rarely the case. Incest before marriage 
is as abhorrent to these people as that on marriage.” As 
far as the Serna, Chang, Lhota, and Ao countries go, Mr. 
Williamson was undoubtedly right. An Ao girl, although 
bound to admit any other man in the village, may not 
admit to her house a man of her own exogamous group. 
If she does so she is held jointly guilty with the man. The 
Lhotas have the same dislike of any liaison within the 
exogamous group. With the Angamis what appears to be 
really the case is that while a girl might take a lover from 
her own clan,* she would at any rate be rigidly forbidden to 
take one from her own kindred, which is regarded as entailing 
great misfortime. As the kindred is now becoming the 
real exogamous unit of the Angamis, their practice in this 
respect is much the same as that of the Lhotas and Aos, 
only in the case of the Angamis the clan as a social unit has 
not yet disappeared, as it has done among the Lhotas, and 
in some villages still remains a more or less exogamous 
body. A theory of the origin of exogamy and marriage 
was advanced by Mr. S. E. Peal,® who suggested that 

^ Hy own opinion is that among the Angamis, as among other Naga 
tribes, the lover would as a rule be a man whom it would be possible for 
her to marry. It very frequently happens that a girl does marry her 
lover. Indeed, it is probably the rule rather than the exception. Possibly 
Mr. Davis was misled by the change in the exogamous unit from the 
original thino to its subdivision. Premarital intrigues and the subdivision 
of exogamous groups are in a way not unconnected, as it is certain that in 
a large exogamous group living as a community there would be many 
intrigues inside the group, if its members were Angami or indeed of 
almost any other Naga tribe. 

* But see the account of the origin of the Chetonuma clan of Kohima 
in Part VT under “ Kohima.” Here a girl runs away from her village 
as the result of an intrigue with a fellow clansman. 

* Vide Gkkit, Assam Census Report, 1891, p. 122, note. Among some of 
the Kdreng Lhotas it is common for a man going on a long journey to 
allow a near relative of his own kindred to cohabit with his wife during 
his absence. Such cohabitation, however, is usually only allowed by a 
definite arrangement, and only to a man of the husband’s kindred. The 
Serna villages of Seromi and l^chipami have told me that they were 




within the tribe all women were common property and that 
no single man could claim an exclusive right to any woman 
of the tribe, but that such a right was recognised in the 
case of women captured in war from other tribes. This 
theory, of course, would provide an explanation of the 
freedom of sex intercourse before marriage, but if we accept 
it, the prohibition of intercourse between unmarried members 
of the same kindred must be regarded as a comparatively 
recent growth, or as an extension to the kindred of a 
prohibition which formerly affected only the family. 

The licence allowed to unmarried girls raises another 
question. What of their children ? Here again accurate 
information is exceedingly difficult to obtain. Illegitimate 
children are very rare, and Mr. Davis remarks that “ it is 
impossible to resist the conclusion that they are made away 
with immediately after birth, or that abortion is procured 
before the birth of the child.” The practice of infanticide 
is denied by Angami men, but they admit that some method 
of procuring abortion may be known to and practised by the 
women, although they, the men, do not know about it. 
In Kohima illegitimate children were born in private and 
killed by their mothers ; in the Eastern Angami country 
illegitimate children were forbidden by the village to be 
reared. Girls about to become mothers used to, and 
probably still do, though, of course, it is denied, procure 
abortion by twisting and squeezing the abdomen. Should 
a child be born it was invariably killed, though not in any 
particular manner, and the soles of the infants’ feet were 
pierced all over with thorns to prevent their returning to 
haunt their mothers’ dreams. It was believed that if they 
were allowed to grow up the village would be without 
success in war or hunting. Of course it is denied that 
this custom still prevails, and in support of such a denial 
the Kezabama Gaonburas point out a man born out of 
wedlock who is said to have been allowed to grow up as a 

allowed free intercourse with any of the women in the Sangtam village of 
Charr, as the men of that village wished to improve the stock by an ad- 
mixture of more warlike blood, Charr being rather an inferior village with 
warlike neighbours. Seromi and Tichipami go there regularly to trade. 




result of the village’s having been taken over by Government. 
It is, however, to say the least of it, curious that they should 
only point out one. The Kacha Nagas are related by 
Kbonoma to kill children who are bom with the placenta ” 
adhering to the neck by pouring boiling water into their 
mouths, and it is said that a woman of Lakema was sentenced 
to three years’ imprisonment for killing her child in this 
way when Mr. Porteous was Deputy Commissioner. The 
Aos undoubtedly procure the abortion^ of illegitimate 
children, and, as Mr. Davis suggests, it is only fair to assume 
that for every case of abortion or infanticide that comes to 
light many happen of which nothing is heard. The 
custom being one that is approved of by all Nagas, it is 
impossible to expect them to give information of the 
occurrence of such cases.” * 

It is probable, however, that among the Angamis proper, 
at any rate, illegitimate children were not necessarily killed, 
as there is at present a definite custom with regard to their 
disposal. Male children go to the father when weaned, 
but no. proper ceremony is performed for their birth. The 
women probably perform one on their own account in secret, 
but the men do not know what it is, as the father does not 
take part. He merely provides food and drink for the 
woman, who comes to his house to fetch it. This provision 
is tantamount to an acknowledgment of parentage, and a 
refusal to provide the food and drink according to custom 
gives great offence to the girl and her relations. The 
mother herself is not allowed to grow her hair and must 
remain shorn like the other unmarried girls. If she insists 
on growing her hair, no one is allowed to marry her except 
a man of the very poorest condition and of the lowest 
standing in the village. 

^ A method used in the Ao village of Nankam is to feel from the outside 
for the child’s head a few days before birth and catching hold of that part 
of the mother’s body together with the head of the child inside to give a 
sharp rap on it with a stone, which causes the child to be bom dead. 
This method is said to be known to certain old women who practise it in 

• Assam Census Report, 1891. See also Part IV of this book, under 
“ Birth.” 




Although Angamis do not admit that there is absolute 
freedom of intercourse between the unmarried, they readily 
admit that widows, unless quite aged, are in no way 
restrained in this matter, even by public opinion, which 
seems to be the only real check upon girls, while in some 
of the Eastern Angami villages there are regular prostitutes. 
This class appears to be sometimes recruited from unmarried 
girls as well as from the younger widows, and is most numer- 
ous in rich Eastern Angami villages like Kezabama. These 
women frequently acquire a good deal of land and take 
their fees in work. One of them died just after the Makware 
expedition, a number of days’ labour on her terraces being 
owed to her by different clients. Captain Butler, in his en- 
thusiastic encomium on Angami women, is quite wrong in 
saying “ prostitution is a thing unknown here. . . A Naga 

woman would scorn to barter for her person ” ; but he was 
doubtless speaking of the Tengima villages, where it is not 
known except in so far as it has been introduced round 
Kohima. He also adds that “ the foul diseases that follow 
in its train are evils to which Naga flesh has not been born 
an heir.” If this is so, they have unfortunately been 
inherited since Captain Butler wrote, l^art, however, of his 
encomium may well be quoted : 

“ As with the men,’" he says, “ so with the women, I 
think they are certainly taller than the average of other 
hill women, and their features more regular. Thej are 
chaste, faithful, merry, and, unlike their brothers, never 
to be seen idle. Their duty it is to fetch the wood, draw 
the water, cook the food, brew the liquor, besides working 
in the fields and weaving cloth at home. It will be observed 
that among the characteristics of the woman I have placed 
chastity, and it may be as well perhaps for me to explain 
that by this term I do not for a moment mean to say that 
they are exactly chaste according to our ideas, but simply 
that they are true to, and act up to, their own principles 
with regard to that virtue. . . . Young men and maidens 
mix together with almost all the freedom allowed by nature’s 
law. Incontinence on the part of the married, however, is 
rare, and an unfaithful wife is a thing almost unheard of, 
but then the penalty is death'' 

The rather sentimental relations of the sexes may be 



PT. Ill 

gathered from the well-known song Nichu nikri ^ sung in 
Khonoma at the Thekrangi genna ; — 

We in childhood were united ; 

Iiet there be no parting ever. 

By the pathway do I linger, 

From afar continue gazing 
At that fairest of all women. 

When her hair grows long in marriage, 

When her hair is bound and braided, 

Let her not forget our friendship, 

But go with me to the rice fields. 

I will wait for her at daybreak, 

Take her on beyond the others 
And return alone by Sdr5zhu 
(Following that devious footpath 
So that no one shall remark me). 

Without her I shall be lonely ; 

(Jo and tell her I am lonely. 

Jn the sky the moon has risen 
And the god, the Sun, has set ; 

Now the moon is looking on me. 

On that pleasant village pathway 
We so oft have trod together. 

But can tread no more together 
After death has come upon us. 

Loitering by the stone of Ketsorr 
Let us pluck the heads of wormwood, 

Pluck the tall heads of the grasses, 

Snatching leaves and light caresses — 

So shalt thou be mine, BelovM. 

Each our separate cups of modhu 
Into one gourd will we empty. 

And will quench our thirst iii common. 

We will go before the spiteful ; 

We will let them see our friendship. 

If in going to the rice fields 
We should fear to go together 
Men will notice our aloofness. 

Notice and remark upon it. 

Whether we go down together. 

Or remain aloof in going. 

Still the envious will accuse us. 

Be not angry, Pesekriewfi ! 

^ For Angami version and verbal rendering, see Part V. Sorozhu is a 
distant grazing ground, while the name PeaekriewU means ** she-who-will- 
bedamented-when-dead.’’ The stone of Ketsorr is a memorial stone on 
the outskirts of Khonoma village. 







My Brother kneels .... in heathen- wise, 

But in my brother's voice I hear 
My own unanswered agonies. 

His God is as his fates assign, 

His prayer is all the world’s — and mine.*’ 

In approaching a subject such as the religious beliefs ReUgious 
of the Angami, one is met at the outset by an obstacle of 
very great difficulty. In common with other savage races 
the Angami regards the supernatural in general from a 
point of view that is sublimely vague. So vague is his 
idea of the deities and spiritual beings in which he believes, 
that he makes no attempt whatever to reproduce in carving 
or in picture the mental image which he forms of them, if 
indeed any clear formation takes place in his mind. Poly- 
theist, pantheist he may be, but he is no idolater. Par, 
very far, is he from saying with Evarra : 

Thus Gods are made 

And whoso makes them otherwise shall die ” : 

though, on the other hand, he is very definite as to the 
maxmer of their service. He has a very clear idea of how 
gods should be served, and that whoso serves them otherwise 
shall die, if not physically, at least socially. And this, 
although much of the service which he offers seems to be 
proffered to no god in particular, to no definite personal 

*77 K 




beings, but is associated merely with such supernatural 
forces as may influence his destiny or his daily life. At 
the same time, while he does not, like the civilised man, 
naturally classify and departmentalise his notions of the 
supernatural, he does recognise some sort of distinction 
between, on the one hand, souls of the dead (and perhaps 
of the living), and, on the other, deities (“ terlmna of a 
more or less definite nature, ranging from deities with certain 
functions and individual names to vague spirits of the 
jungle, stone, and stream. All these latter are clothed to 
his mind with some hazy cloak of unity, but have so much 
entity as to be capable of propitiation, singly or collectively, 
or, if occasion warrant it, of challenge and defiance. Captain 
Butler records the case of an Angami chief who lost his son 
by an accident when serow hunting. When the news was 
brought to him he seized a shield and spear and leaped 
forth wrathfully challenging whatever spirits had caused 
his son’s death to come and fight him that he might take 
vengeance. Similarly, although terhoma ” are, generally 
speaking, invisible and intangible, they, or their jealous 
or malicious influences, may be arrested by the use of 
panjis set up as a ** kethi thedi ” already described. It is 
not necessary, however, for these panjis to be particularly 
sharp, and it is conceivable that the idea underlying their 
erection is similar to that which induces the Dusun of 
Tempassuk, in British North Borneo, to put up spears 
outside their villages to keep off small-pox, the intention 
being that the spirits of the spears fight with the spirits of 
the small-pox when the latter attempt to enter the village 
defended by the former.^ It is noticeable also that houses 
visited by sickness are protected by rough masks cut out 
of bamboo bark to represent a face, holes being made for 

^ Journal of the Anthropological JnstitiOe, 1913, Vol. XLIII, p. 455. 
See also Colonel Gurdon, “'The lOiasis,” p. 108 (new edition). The Angamis, 
by the way, conceive of the spirit of smaU-pox as sowing the disease, as 
it were seeds, over all entering in at the village gate. Accordingly when 
a village is visited by the small-pox the inhabitants give up using the gate 
and go in and out some other way, climbing over the wall or ditch or 
through jungle. They give no personal name to the spirit of smaU-pox, 
hut speak of it as a terhoma. 




the features, a rude device seen among the Konyak tribes 
in the much more elaborate form of regular faces, painted 
and grotesque. It is perhaps a matter for speculation as 
to whether these faces were originally intended, like the 
gargoyles of Mediaeval Europe, to frighten away evil spirits, 
or whether it was intended that the spirit of the mask should 
wrestle with the spirit of sickness, or whether the mask 
was first put up that the sickness might seize the mask 
instead of a human bein^. Ordinary panjis are put up over 
the door of the house together with the masks, and a fire 
is lighted in the centre of the doorway. These precautions 
are believed to prevent those who go in and out from taking 
infection from the sick man. Evil spirits and bacteria 
seem to be much the same thing. In any case they can 
be deterred from attacking the person by the device of 
carrying in the hand, or licking and sticking on to the 
forehead, a bit of wormwood {chena or pina) leaf, which is 
apparently most obnoxious to the spirits of disease. Children 
are particularly susceptible to attack, and a woman travel- 
ling with an infant in arms protects it by carrying a reaping 
hook held in front of her to the haft of which a bit of 
wormwood also is often tied — as a sort of disinfectant, in 

Disease may also be averted by offering a substitute in 
the form of old cloths, live chickens, eggs, etc. During 
the influenza epidemic of November 1918, which was very 
severe in the Naga Hills, the paths round Angami villages 
were littered with odds and ends of clothing and ornaments 
offered in this way, and with eggs laid in the path for the 
same purpose, while very many chickens were turned 
loose in the jungle. Chickens freed and driven away in the 
jungle to serve as a substitute for the person turning them 
out (or perhaps merely as an offering for the spirits of the 
jungle, or, it may be, to carry away the element of sickness 
or misfortune that attaches to the persons who devote 
them to this purpose) are called cMsil and regarded as 

Among Nagas generally we And plenty of animatism, 
particularly as regards stones. The Serna village of Lazemi 

N 2 



boasts a pair of stones, male and female, that breed and 
produce offspring yearly, while similar beliefs may be found 
among all Naga tribes. Somewhat similarly, an animal, 
a snake for instance, may be regarded as an embodied 
spirit which it is not advisable to injure, and any particular 
and known animal which for a long time successfully evades 
its pursuers is credited with supernatural qualities. Such 
an one is the great boar of the Dayang Valley below 
Oariphema, whose tracks are reported to be a foot long, 
a worthy successor to him of Cosa’s fen.^ As in Europe, 
supernatural beings are sometimes to be controlled by the 
possession of something that belongs to them ; the story 
of the Ladies of the Well, one of whom was at last captured 
by the mortal who abstracted from her the head-band used 
by women to carry loads, ^ is a familiar theme in our own 

Of the si^iiits revered by the Angami there are a number, 
both of persons and of kinds. Nor are their qualities by 
any means so malicious as they have been painted. The 
missionaries in their blindness teach the Angami convert to 
regard all terlwma as evil, and mission-taught Nagas are 
in the habit of translating the generic terhoma into English 
or Assamese as “ Satan.'’ All of these “ satans,” as they 
call them, are, however, very far from having those qualities 
which we traditionally associate with the Devil, and the 
qualities of some of them are definitely benevolent. Chief 
of all of these is Kepenopfii, usually spoken of with the 
possessive ® sufiix as Ukepenopfil. This spirit is sometimes 
spoken of as a creator, but it would seem that this is rather 
in the sense of the creator of living beings than as the creator 
of the universe. The word kepenopfii literally means 

birth spirit,” and Kepenopfii, indeed, is the ancestress 
(or ancestor) of the human race, and since the two ancestors 
of the terhoma and tigers were of one birth with the ancestor 

^ The white serow at Seromi in the Serna country is another. No trap 
can catch it nor any hunter shoot it. I had a barking deer of similar 
qualities in my garden at Mokokchung until it was shot. 

• See Part VI — specimen of Angami language — the story of Jessu. 

* Of the third person. Sir G. Grierson says that the Angami suffixes are 
remains of a pronominal adjective. See Part VI, 



of man, Kepenopfu might also be regarded as the ancestress 
of all spirits and the larger cats. Other animals were, at 
any rate according to one legend, supplied to men by one 
of the terhoma associated with the Terhengi genna, so that 
they too are indirectly traceable to Kepenopfu. Kepenopfu 
has been called the ancestress of men, rather than the 
ancestor. Many Angamis, it is true, think and speak of 
Kepenopfu as a male being, but the termination pfil h b, 
feminine termination, and always carries a feminine sense, 
and, when made to reflect on the point, most Angamis 
admit Kepenopfu to be a female being, ^ and it is as such 
that she appears in the legend of the diverse origin of the 
Naga and the plainsman {vide Part V), in which she appears 
as the ancestress of men and has a mysterious husband of 
superhuman attributes. On the other hand, in the story 
of the Angami Tower of Babel ^ Kepenopfu causes the men 
who are building a tower up to heaven to speak different 
languages, because she is afraid that she will have to give 
them all gifts if they succeed in arriving, and this would 
seem to suggest the male sex, as under ordinary circum- 
stances gifts would not be expected of a woman. The 
dwelling-place of Kepenopfu is always located in the sky, 
and the souls of those who have lived good lives, according 
to the Angami standard, that is, go to the sky after death 
and dwell with her. Kepenopfu is not credited with any 
activities malicious or ill-disposed towards human beings, 
but is always regarded as beneficent. Kepenopfu it was 
who gave to men of old time the stone axe as an instrument, 
but man in his stupidity being unable to use it, she withdrew 
the gift, and to this day when an axe falls from heaven in 
her lightning, the worthless part only remains to be fotind 
by mortals, the valuable properties of the stone returning 
to heaven again with the flash. 

Whether or not Kepenopfu should strictly be reckoned 
among the terhoma is a doubtful point, but her attributes 

^ The conception of Kepenopfu in the Angami mind is apparently at 
present xmdergoing a process of change from female to male, and indeed 
the word is used by Christian converts for their anthropomorphic conception 
of God the Father. 

* See Part V. 

1 82 



are similar to those of other terhoma, and the Angami mind 
undoubtedly associates her with them as one of them. 
Among these others we find Rutzeh^ the evil one. He is 
the giver of sudden death. If a man die unexpectedly, 
blood issuing from his mouth and nostrils, no illness having 
preceded it, his death is ascribed to Rutzeh. Maweno is 
the Angami goddess of fruitfulness. She keeps pebbles 
and paddy in her bag. If a man meet her and ask for 
anything, she gives him one gift, never two, a pebble or a 
grain or two of paddy. If she gives it to him for his fields 
he will have good crops, if for his cattle, many calves. 
TeUpfil, on the other hand, is a mischievous being. She 
carries people away — ^men, women, or children — and hides 
them. She does not kill them, but renders them senseless, 
though if their relations succeed in finding them again 
they recover consciousness. Tsuklw and Dzurawii are 
two spirits, male and female, husband and wife, represented 
as dwarfs, who preside over all wild animals ; they are not 
inimical to man, but send him game in answer to his 
prayers when he goes a-hunting.^ Metsimo guards the 
approach to paradise, a sort of Angami St. Peter. ^ Tekhu-rho 
is the god of tigers. He is held responsible for the loss of 
missing persons lost in the jungle, etc. A genna is done 
to him for their death. He is also believed to avenge the 
death of tigers or leopards killed by men, if the dead animal 
is not prevented from telling him the name of the man who 
killed him. This may be done by wedging open the mouth 
of the dead tiger with a piece of wood and putting the head 
into a running stream at some distance from the village. 
When the tiger tries to tell the Tekhu-rlio who has killed 
him, all that the spirit can hear is a meaningless gurgle 
in the water. Ayepi is a sort of fairy that lives in men’s 
houses and brings them prosperity. Few men see her, 
but sometimes her tracks are seen like little human foot- 
prints in the stored paddy or on the dusty floor. 

' See the story of Chikeo in Part V. 

® The form he takes among the Memi is that of Pekujikhe (see Part VI, 
specimen of the Memi language), who seems to be also invested with the 
attributes of KepenopfO’s husband (see Part V, Legends ; “ The Naga and 
the Plainsman*’). 




Kechi-ke-rho is the spirit, or rather the species of spirit, 
which inhabits stones. Temi is a ghost. It proceeds from 
the corpse of a man drowned, or killed by an enemy, by 
any kind of evil spirit, or by his own hand. It cannot kill 
men, but threatens them and frightens cowards. 

This short list is not intended to be in any sense 
exhaustive, but merely to include some of the more 
prominent terhoma and to indicate the ideas with which 
they are associated. ^ Terhoma are legion, and probably 
every village could tell of several quite unknown to the 
villages adjoining it. The majority of terhoma are unknown 
by name, unspecified, vague inhabitants of the invisible 
world. There is, too, a female spirit called a rhopfil,^ 
attached to each man or to men in general, it is difficult 
to say which ; a mysterious spiritual force which seems to 
combine the attributes of guardian angel, familiar spirit. 
Destiny, and in some cases it would seem even of man’s 
own soul. The description is vague enough, but the danger 
to be avoided in transcribing any Angami ideas upon the 
supernatural is, above all, the danger of distinguishing 
what is vague, of giving form to what is void, of defining 
what is not finite. If an Angami is asked what the sun is 
he will probably answer that he does not know, “ perhaps 
it is a terhoma,'' And to terhoma generally most natural 
phenomena, such as earthquakes and eclipses, are ascribed, 
though actual worship of nature in the sun, moon, fire, or 
other of her manifestations is absent. 

The Angami conception of godhead being such as it is, 
we should hardly expect to find any definite code of morals 
dependent upon it ; morals, of course, there are, even a 
code of morals, but the sanction on which it rests is social, 
not religious. Theft, for instance, as also homicide, while 
very serious offences when perpetrated by an individual 
against another of his community, are proper if not praise- 
worthy actions when perpetrated against a member of 
another community. At the same time, there is a vague 

^ The Irish bean-sidhe is a precise translation of rho-pfu, but the 
idea attached to ** banshee ” in English has become more or less identified 
with a particular maiufeatation. 

i 84 the ANGAMI NAGAS part 

idea in Angami esohatology of a distinction between the 
sheep and the goats, for whereas the former go to a heaven, 
located somewhere in the sky, to dwell with Ukepenopfu, 
the latter go down beneath the earth, where they pass 
through seven existences. The first of these is usually 
described as that of a butterfly,^ but it cannot be definitely 
stated what the other six are, though butterfiies, bees, 
ants, and other insects are mentioned, butterflies in 
particular. If asked whether any of these existences may 
be passed in human form, the answer given is, “ Who 
knows ? ’’ One thing, however, is clear, and that is that 
at the conclusion of the seventh the existence of the soul 
becomes extinct, “ leaving his rib on (the roof of) his 
house.’’ The rib in this case is said to be the rib of whatever 
being the soul inhabited in the seventh state, and the house 
is explained, when an explanation is asked for, as being 
the dwelling of whatever sort occupied in that existence. 
It is probable, however, that, until asked to explain, the 
mental image formed is one of a human being and a human 
house. The seven existences are described as taking place 
in seven spheres of the under-world, one below the other.* 
The ideas as to the sort of existence experienced in heaven 
by the soul which qualifies for the domains of Kepenopfii 
are considerably vaguer than those on the future existence 
already described, which must await the vast majority of 
Angamis. A notion, however, is expressed by some that 
life with Kepenopfii will be a sort of improved edition of 
life on this earth with the more unpleasant incidents 
expunged, with hunting, perhaps with head-hunting, and 
doubtless with unlimited “ zu ” drinking and feasting. 

* Hodson, “ Netga Tribes of Manipur,” p. 169, mentions a statement 
that the Angamis do not kill a certain butterfly because it is occupied by 
the souls of the dead. 1 have not been able to find any such practice 
among the Angamis, though the Memi sub-tribe state that if children kill 
the great white swallow-tailed moth they are liable to go mad. I have 
not been able to extract any specific reason for this belief, but it is not 
unlikely that these huge and rather ghostly insects are associated with 
the souls of the dead. Grown men, however, kill them without compunc- 
tion etnd pin them up on the fronts of their houses. 

• Possibly this belief in seven spheres of the tmder-wovld is connected 
with the unluckiness which in Angami opinion attends the number seven. 




The principal qualification for the abode of Kepenopfti is 
that one should have performed the Zhatho (or Z(iche or 
Satse) genna and should have thereafter eaten no unclean 
meat. Unclean meat is usually described as the flesh of 
monkeys, dogs, frogs, and “ birds whose flesh is of unknown 
quality.” One sometimes hears it said that no Angamis 
who have eaten unclean food can go to the abode of 
Ukepenopfii, but if this is so Kepenopfti must lead a 
singularly solitary existence. Perhaps she (or he) prefers 
this. Every Angami, male at any rate, who goes thither 
has to enter along a narrow way on which he must meet the 
spirit called Metsimo and struggle for a passage. If Metsimo 
overcomes him, he is cast into limbo and remains a wandering 
spirit between heaven and earth, in the company, it would 
seem, of the souls of infants stillborn or who died before 
the conclusion of the birth genna, and of warriors killed 
in battle whose bodies and heads were not recovered for 
burial, unless burial by effigy, which is performed in such 
circumstances, is an effectual precaution against such a 
doom. It is apparently with a view to this struggle that 
an Angami warrior is buried with his weapons. 

The souls of the dead, however, are perhaps not entirely 
cut off from the former existence, as a dead man^s drinking 
horn is frequently, if not usually, hung up in the place where 
he usually kept it filled with liquor in case he may return 
for refreshment, and in some cases the horn is occasionally 
refilled, until the memory of the dead has faded away. 
It may be added that the average Angami troubles his head 
very little as to what is in store for him after death. He 
looks on death as the abhorrent end of everything that 
interests him, and neither pretends to know nor cares what 
comes after. 

The beliefs of other Naga tribes on the subject of a future 
existence contain interesting parallels to the Angami 
theories, which are worth notice in passing. The belief in 
the narrow path to paradise seems universal among Nagas. 
The Lhotas and Western Sernas place it along the ridge of 
the Wokha hill (whence may often be heard the wailing of 
dead children crying for their parents), from north to south, 




and on reaching a depression just north of the summit the 
soul descends over the cliflE on the eastern face of the rock 
by a cane rope to a cave of the Dead which is believed to 
exist there. It is at the point of descent that the struggle 
with the guardian spirit takes place. A line in the strata 
of the clifE face, which can be seen from a distance, is also 
pointed out as the Path of the Dead. The Sernas of the 
Tizu valley place this path on the Naruto hill between 
Yezami and Aichi-Sagami overlooking the Tizu river, and 
the Aos^ on a long ridge sloping up from west to east, which 
can be seen clearly from most of the villages on the 
Longbangkang range, somewhere beyond the frontier to 
the east of the Dikhu Valley and apparently in the Phom 
country. The Changs have a future world underground. 
The Sernas also state sometimes that the good dead go to 
some village of the dead towards the sunrise, and the bad 
towards the sunset. Every dead Lhota has a bead or a 
cowrie tied on to his wrist with which to propitiate the 
spirit who guards the path. The Cave of the Dead at 
Wokha is visited in sleep by the Lhota dream-women, who 
can foretell the future, particularly of a hunting expedition, 
as a result of their conversations with the souls of the 
deceased.^ Sernas, Changs, and Lhotas also hold a con- 
comitant but contradictory theory of the entry of the souls 
into insects after death. 

orship. The worship an Angami village renders to its deities, if 
worship it can be called, is directed by certain officials, 
who, though in some cases of no importance socially, perform 
functions which from the Angami point of view are extremely 
important to the community. The most important of 
these, at any rate in most villages, is the Kemovo.^ The 

^ The Aos sometimes say that the souls of the dead enter “mithan” ; 
that they are therefore reluctant to sacrifice too many, and that they do 
gennas in the plaoes where “ mithan ” have been killed, as soul-ocoupied 
places. According to one of many Chang beliefs, human beings are the 
“ mithan *’ of the sky spirits and a man dies whenever the sky spirit kills 
a “ mithan.” 

^ Mr. Mills tells me that the Lhota soul is heard groaning on its way to 
the Hill of the Dead as much as two or three months before the body dies. 

« Memi— “ JMofcvo.” 




Kemovo must be an occupant of one of the original house 
sites of the village, and is normally a descendant in the 
direct line of the founder of the village or of the founder, 
in the village, of the clan for which he acts as Kemovo. 
The Kemovo directs all public ceremonies and fixes the 
days for them, and as the office is hereditary, he is also 
the repository of the genealogical and historical traditions 
of his village, clan, and kindred. The office, while descend- 
ing from generation , to generation, remains, however, in 
the hands of the old men of the family, so that the second 
brother will succeed the elder, and the third perhaps the 
second, the office going back in the next generation to the 
eldest son of the eldest brother, to this eldest son’s brother 
after him, and back again as before to the eldest son’s son.^ 
When a new village is built a man from one of the original 
house sites of the parent village, preferably, of course, the 
Kemovo himself, must go and select the site for the first 
house of the new village, and whenever a new house is built 
in any village, the village Kemovo has to perform a 
ceremony before building starts. The person of the Kemovo 
is regarded in a limited way as sacrosanct, inasmuch as it 
is thought very unlucky indeed to kill the Kemovo of another 
village even in war. 

It should be added that the term Kemovo has a treble 
significance, as, apart from the magico-religious functions 
of the Kemovo and his hereditary office, the status of 

Kemovo ” may be acquired by a man performing in 
completion the full series of personal gennas which determine 
social standing, while the Kemovo is among the Eastern 
Angamis the occupier of the first house site of the village. 
In the Eastern Angami country the Kemovo is normally 
Kemovo in the treble sense of the word, the Kemovo being 
a man selected from among persons otherwise properly 
qualified by descent and genna-status to occupy the first 
original house site of the village. But while in the Khonoma 

^ This is the descent in Khonoma. Eastern Angami villages seem less 
particular about the succession of the elder Hne. A Kemovo must be a 
married man, bachelors and widowers are disqualified. There is no 
reversion to an elder line passed over once for some deficiency. There 
«re normally two at least in a village. 




group he is Kemovo in the first or official-hereditary sense 
and perhaps in the third sense, in the Kohima group the 
term Kemovo bears only the second or social significance, 
and carries no particular functionary duties, though the 
term is applied in any case to the holders of the other three 
village offices mentioned below. Here, in the Kohima 
group, the functions which are performed by the Kemovo 
of the Khonoma group are performed by the Pitsu, a term 
not used in Khonoma, who also combines with those of the 
Kemovo the functions of the Khonoma '' ZJievo,*' Except 
in the Kohima group, the Kemovo is the official repository 
of genealogical lore. The tehuba or sitting-place in front of 
the Kemovo’s house normally contains the graves of 
deceased kemovos and is regarded as a very sacred spot. 
It is used for dancing in at gennas. 

In Cheswezuma, and probably in other Eastern Angami 
villages, there are two kemovo, as one of anything would 
be unlucky, a pair, as in the case of husband and wife, being 
the natural unit. These kemovo are more or less hereditary 
as described, and a man who was blind or deaf would have 
to be kemovo if there were no other available member of 
the family, and might be kSO in any case, but it would be 
regarded as most unlucky. In addition to the kemovo there 
is also one pitsu. This is always the oldest man in the 
village, irrespective of any other consideration. When he 
dies the next oldest man becomes pitsu in his place. He 
has no regular ceremonies to perform, but is sometimes 
called on to officiate on special occasions, e.g. if it is 
necessary to observe a special pemia because the crops are 
doing badly, or because an insect pest has attacked them. 

The Zh^vo is indispensable to the personal gennas per- 
formed by the Angami, and he directs these gennas much 
as the Kemovo directs the gennas of the community. He 
goes to the house of any person performing a genna and 
blesses the man and tastes before anyone else the liquor 
and the meat used, and receives from the person doing the 
genna a large piece of raw meat and some of the blood of 
the animal killed. His offices are needed in all personal 
gennas of whatever nature, and he is thus almost always 




called upon in the case of sickness to advise as to what sort 
of genna should be done. In the Kohima group, as has 
been already noticed, the function of the Kemovo and the 
Zhevo are combined in the person of the Pitsu, who is 
entitled to wear a special cloth called “ Jtredi ” or “ pitsu-pfe,'* 

Particularly connected with agricultural operations are 
the “ Tsakro '' (Chikrau) and the “ LiJepfii/' The Tsakro 
is the old man whose duty it is to begin the sowing ; until 
he has formally inaugurated the sowing of the crop it is 
genna for any man to sow. Some villages keep one Tsakro 
for the rice crop and another for the millet, or one for wet 
cultivation and one for jhuming, but practice differs in 
this respect. In Jotsoma the first sower of millet is a 
young man who is changed every two years or so owing to 
the irksomeness of the food tabus which he has to observe. 

The Lidepfii is the old woman who in a corresponding 
manner inaugurates the reaping of the crop.^ Some, 
particularly Eastern Angami villages, appoint an old man, 
called in this case ‘‘ Lidah,'' and not a woman for this 
purpose, but the appointment of an old woman is the rule 
among most Angami villages. The Lidepfii in Sachenobama 
was in 1913 a young girl. For both the Tsakro and the 
Lidepfii it is genna to work in their fields for thirty days 
before the ceremony of first sowing or reaping as the case 
may be. Each of them receives a sort of payment in paddy 
and at the appointed time sends four or five men of the 
clan to which he or she belongs to collect a contribution of 
a small basket of paddy from every house in the clan. 

The Tsakro collects his after the Terhengi, the genna which 
follows the harvest, the Lidepfii hers after the Sekrengi 
genna which precedes the sowing. Both are forbidden to 
eat or even to touch rats, mice, squirrels, and animals 
killed by birds or beasts of prey. This genna is also extended 
to the Pitsu. 

Acts of worship have been spoken of as “ gennas ” Gear 

^ There is possibly some significanoe in this selection of a man for 
sowing and a woman for reaping. Is it connected with the “ spending ** 
and “ storing ” functions which have been attributed to the male and 
female in nature respectively? Weininger (“Sex and Character”) 
speaks of them as “ the ‘ liberating ’ and the ‘ uniting ’ impulses.” 




because there is no suitable English word which describes 
them, and the word genna, though by derivation from the 
Angami “ kenna,"^ signifying “ forbidden ’’ merely, has 
become regularly used in the Naga Hills for the various 
incidents of a magico-religious rite. These may suitably 
be dealt with under the three heads which are in casual 
speech lumped together under the expression “ genna.” 

First of all we have “ Kenna ” (or ‘‘ kenyu ”), that is to 
say, “ prohibition.”^ Now this word “ kenna ” is used 
without any reference whatever to the sanction on which 
the “ prohibition ” rests, and it is for this reason that the 
word “ tabu ” has been rather avoided, since there is nothing 
in the Angami word to suggest the reason of the prohibition. 
So loose is the use of the word “ kenna ” that it may refer 
not only to the breach of the strict rule of a magico-religious 
observance or to the breach of a social law, theft for 
example, but to the most trivial matter of pure utility. 
An extreme instance of the latter came before the notice of 
the writer. One of his interpreters had shot a monkey 
and going on ahead had jestingly propped it up in a lifelike 
attitude against a fence. The writer coming along with a 
village headman inserted into the open mouth of the dead 
animal the stump of a Burma cheroot which he had been 
smoking. The Angami with him remarked at once “ hau 
t$u kennawe,” it is forbidden to do that.” On being 
asked how such an act could be kenna, it was explained 
that it was highly improper to waste so precious a luxury 
as the stump of a cheroot. Leaving out of account, however, 
extreme cases of this sort of use, it is possible to distinguish 
classes of kenna according to the intention underlying the 
prohibition. A good example of such a distinction may be 
seen in the prohibitions associated with the use of wood. 
On the one hand the burning for firewood of the wood of 
trees used for building is kenna. Of course it is just possible 
that the reason underlying this may be a fear that the use 
of this wood as firewood might make the timber of houses 
more liable to confiagration, but the simpler and accepted 
explanation, that the object of this kenna is to preserve the 

^ Lit. «= “ it is forbidden.” In Memi — cMm, 




building material from waste, is perhaps more likely to be 
the true one. On the other hand, and, whichever be the 
explanation of the kenna on timber trees, differing from it, 
is the kenna on the use as firewood of the tree “ hetho ” from 
which are made the wooden images substituted in burial 
ceremonies for the unrecovered corpses of those slain in 
battle. While it is kenna to burn the wood of the tree 
“ mela ” at weddings, because if burnt at weddings or touched 
by the bride or bridegroom it causes barrenness and neces- 
sitates a divorce. The' story which explains the prohibition 
against burning hetho wood is told as follows : — 

“ The wood called ‘ hetho ’ is not to be burnt or brought 
to any dwelling for this reason : a man was once lost and 
no trace of him or of how he disappeared could be found. 
His relations wanted to perform the ceremonies for his 
death. It was much discussed as to how this should be 
done. At last it was decided to make a wooden image of 
the dead man, and an old woman ’’ (she would be the dream- 
woman of the village) ‘‘ was consulted as to what wood 
should be used. She conversed with a spirit in a dream and 
the spirit advised her to make use of a thorny tree so that 
in future all should be afraid to touch it. Then the hetho 
was chosen ’’ (it has thorny bark and crimson flowers. 
Its Assamese name is Mdddr “ as it was sufficiently large, 
soft, and thorny. Since then the hetho has not been burnt, 
as it is considered in some sense a man. When a man dies 
at a distance from his home, his companions cut off some 
hair and bring it home, and making a figure of hetho wood, 
aflSx the hair and perform the funeral ceremonies, substi- 
tuting this figure for the corpse.” 

In the matter of dress we may compare the kenna which 
forbids a man who has not taken a head to wear the hombiirs 
feather, the insignia of the successful warrior, with the 
kenna which prohibits a man from not merely putting on 
but even laying across or against his body a petticoat which 
has once been worn by a woman. The fact that there is 
not the least objection to a man’s putting against his body 
a new and unworn woman’s petticoat shows that it is not 

1 It is the of tl^ Assamese, Erythrina fulgena. 





the nature or meaning of the garment itself which, as in 
the case of the warrior’s insignia, is the reason of the 
prohibition. A henna similar perhaps to that against 
burning timber trees for firewood may be seen in the 
prohibition against cutting the stubble from the reaped 
field until the whole harvest of the village is gathered in. 
The idea here would seem to be that until the really valuable 
part of the harvest is gathered a man who has reaped his 
own grain should aid lus neighbours. Delay would not 
hurt the straw, and it would not matter much if it did, 
whereas grain quickly spoils if unreaped and is of vital 
importance to the community. But perhaps the best 
instance of a purely utilitarian prohibition is the one by 
which a village in which there is some epidemic is put ‘‘ out 
of bounds ” by the neighbouring communities purely to 
avoid risk of infection.^ 

It should be added that by the word henna used hereafter 
without specifying any particular act prohibited is meant 
a prohibition laid on persons or households from holding 
intercourse of any sort by word or by deed with others. 
This, in fact, is perhaps the commonest use of the word, 
and its corruption “ gemia ” has sometimes been used in 
this sense exclusively, though now usually having a much 
vaguer significance. Kenna in this sense is, however, 
subject to degrees. It may refer merely to speech, though 
it usually refers to all communication whatever. A bunch 
of green leaves is affixed to the front of a house when its 
inmates are henna in this sense. 

While henna is the prohibition laid on a unit of the 
community, penna^ is the prohibition laid on the whole 
community. It includes the idea contained in henna and 
goes further. Besides entailing on the community a kenna 
towards strangers in a greater or less degree and for a longer 

^ Compare also the kenna agaixist taking paddy out of the “ duli ” 
except in the morning and with the doors shut. The woman must do it 
if there is one in the household, and a stranger is absolutely prohibited 
from touching the paddy in the “ duli." The object is purely utilitarian 
— to prevent the too rapid use of the rice supply, but the process of 
thought on which the tabu is based is less clear. 

® Memi — marU, 




or shorter period, penna entails entire abstention from work 
in the fields by the community as a whole, when such absten- 
tion is proclaimed by the Kemovo or Pitsu. The essence 
of it is that the individual should not leave the village to 
go to his fields or cultivate. It does not necessarily prevent 
the man’s going out hunting or his wife’s weaving or per- 
formance of household duties. The power ascribed to the 
observance of penna may be gathered from the effect 
which their observance with a definite object is believed to 
have upon the individual. For instance, two Sachema 
women went to catch snails in the Jotsoma terraces when 
the paddy was ripening, and some Jotsoma men, annoyed 
at the possibility of damage to their crop, threw mud at the 
women. They were not even struck by the mud, but when 
some of their fellow villagers threatened to do a genna 
consisting in this case of a day’s penna (that is with kenna 
as regards strangers) ‘‘ for the loss of two heads,” the two 
women, fearing that they would die as a result of such a 
genna, hurried into Kohima to get orders against its 
observance. A precisely similar effect was ascribed to 
penna in the case already alluded to of the man of Nerhema 
who sacrificed a cat for illness, and instances might easily 
be multiplied. From time to time certain days (, those 
on which there is no moon either new or old, those on which 
eclipses occur, etc.), at the instance of the Kemovo or Pitsu, 
are observed as days of penna as opposed to “ li-chu ” 

(= “ field-go ”), much like the ‘‘ dies nefasti ” of the ancient 
Roman Courts. In most Angami gennas a certain number 
of days are observed as penna and the rest as Ttanu merely 
without prohibitions other than that against going to work 
in the fields. Penna really is kenna applied to the community 
instead of to the individuaL The word kenna would pro- 
bably be hardly, if ever, applied by an Angami to a 
communal prohibition, at any rate when speaking of the 
community, though it might be used of the incidence of 
the communal prohibition upon an individual. 

Supplementary to kenna and penva in magico-religious Nantt. 
observances we find in some degree or other Nanii^ the whole 
rite, the active side of the observance as well as the negative 





and passive sides exemplified in hmna and penna. NanU 
is also used as the term for a whole genna in which penna 
is observed by the community or by the individual 
(accompanied by henna) and followed by a period of similar 
abstention from work in which penna has not been actually 
proclaimed by the priest. The ceremony implied by 
nana is at its minimum the offering of a little folded leaf 
containing a few grains of rice and a sip of liquor which is 
hung up in the house on all days of penna^ the grains of 
rice having been held for a moment at the fire by way of a 
pretence at cooking it. Perhaps even the offering of a 
little liquor shaken from the cup or touched on to the 
forehead before drinking on all occasions might be held to 
be nanii at its minimum. At its maximum minil consists 
of sacrifice of flesh, part of which is set aside for the spirits, 
wearing of ceremonial dress, dancing, singing, and the 
pounding of dhan, together with the total abstention from 
work in the fields involved by penna, and complete henna to 
intercourse with strangers. But while offerings in a lesser 
or greater degree accompany all observances, they may 
amount to a mere drop of liquor set aside on the morning 
of a genna day, or may be the head and entrails of a chicken 
or the snout and feet of a pig killed in case of illness. In 
the latter case parts of the animal killed are given to the 
Zhevo and sometimes also to the Kemovo, Tsakro, and 
Lidepfu. In the case of a genna conferring social status 
a number of cattle, more or less fixed according to the 
particular genna, are sacrificed and the whole clan, or at 
least the kindred, is feasted. The wearing of ceremonial 
dress accompanies some of the village gennas, but practice 
in this respect varies a good deal and is anything but a 
criterion of the importance of the genna. Different villages 
attach varying degrees of importance to different gennas, 
and it thus happens that a genna kept with great ceremony 
at one village is comparatively insignificant at another 
village which makes a great deal of a genna barely observed 
in the first. Dancing, singing, and dhan-pounding as a 
rule go hand in hand with ceremonial dress. Dhan-pounding 
at a small genna is done ixiside the fheha M,'* which is the 

1 {'hotoiiiajthed hi/ Mr. Jintler 

[Tojacej)- 15^4. 

\ To face r > 190 . 

Dhan-pounding at Social Gennas during the Terhengi Genna in Kohima Village 




house of some rich man who has a large pounding table 
and which is always used for this purpose at geimas ; at a 
big genna it is done outside in the open, a large number of 
tables being collected for the purpose. Pounding is done 
in fuU dress and by both men and women, and in some cases, the Thekrangi genna at Elhonoma, the girls and young 
men pound at the same trestle, standing on opposite sides 
of it and using the long straight pestle. In the Terhengi 
genna in Kohima the jnen doing gennas of social status 
pound separately, using a hook-shaped pestle. 

Dancing as practised by the Ehonoma group is a very 
serious affair. It consists of a solemn procession of young 
men in full dress which moves at a slow pace describing 
circles, eights, and similar figures and splitting into two lines 
which work in and out of one another serpent-wise. The 
motions of the dancers are stiff and there is a certain amount 
of posturing with the arms and hands, the upper arms being 
kept close to the body and the fore-arms and open hand 
being moved up and down from the elbow, but not from 
side to side. Free movement is much restricted owing to 
the weight, cumbrous dimensions, and instability of the 
head-dress worn. In the Kohima group, where the rather 
fragile wheel of hombill feathers is not worn by the younger 
men, who wear less cumbrous erections of bamboo and paper, 
the movements of the dancers are freer, while in the Viswema 
group the dancers work up a gradually increasing pace, 
ending up by running very fast and leaping. In this 
ceremonial dancing the old men take little part, following 
for a time at the end of the line and directing operations 
generally. They do not trouble to put on full dress, but 
carry weapons and any marks of particular distinction to 
which they are considered entitled. 

Both dhan-poimding and dancing are accompanied by 
singing, the nature of which has already been described. 
The songs sung include both particular songs traditionally 
associated with the occasion, and sometimes in archaic 
language not fully understood except by those skilled in 
them, as weU as songs in common use which may be fancied 
by the singers. 





nal oere- 

The idea of prayer, as we understand it, is perhaps not 
foreign to the Angami mind, as witness the prayer offered 
to Tsukho and Dziirawii by persons going out hunting : 
“ In your name have I come out, and in hope of your aid, 
I pray that ye will discover and give unto me of the animals 
in your keeping.” In some cases, however, what would 
seem at first to be a prayer has probably degenerated and 
is repeated rather as a charm, and as such the traditional 
formula must be observed. 

The following is a list of the principal gennas in the 
Angami year. The dates are approximate only, as the 
actual beginning of the genna depends partly on the state 
of the crops, and in some cases, that of the Titho genna, 
the Angami villages wait for the Memi villages,^ and the 
Kemovos of each village take their cue from the villages 
to the south-east or south of them as far as Mekrima, which 
is generally regarded by Angami villages as the authority 
in these matters. The order in which these gennas are 
observed, moreover, is not the same in all villages, and as 
two gennas are often coupled together in their observance, 
and differently coupled by different villages, it is difficult 
to give a lucid statement of the calendar. The order given 
is that in which the gennas are observed in Khonoma, or 
at any rate approximately so. The Sekrengi is put first 
because it seems naturally to fall into that place ; Angami 
opinion, however, is divided on this point between the 
Gnongi, Sekrengi, and Terhengi gennas as the first genna 
of the year. It is related that once two men got so heated 
in a dispute as to whether the Terhengi or the Gnongi was 
the first that they fought over it and killed each other. 
The Terhengi, however, marks the completion of the 
agricultural year, while the Sekrengi has for its object the 
preservation of health in the coming year. The claims of 
the Gnongi are based on its marking the beginning of fresh 
agricultural operations. The Gnongi- and Terhengi are 
generally treated as the two most important geimas of the 
year in the Kohima and Khonoma groups, but practice 

^ The Mohvo of Mekrima is the one from whom the other Memi villages 
take it in the first instance. 




varies in this respect, and among the Eastern Angamis the 
Titho or its equivalent holds perhaps the most prominent 
place of all. The gennas conferring social status, though 
performed at the Terhengi in the Kohima group, are per- 
formed at the Sekrengi in the Viswema group. The Kezami 
and Memi gennas given as corresponding to those in the 
Khonoma list are those which seem to correspond most 
nearly in the purpose, time, and manner of their performance, 
but it is difficult to be .precise, as Angami opinion on the 
matter differs considerably and is sometimes quite at 
variance with all apparent probabilities. In most cases, of 
course, no opinion is formulated on such points until it is 
asked for, when the person questioned is taken by surprise, 
answers at random, and invents reasons afterwards to 
justify his answer. The list of gennas is followed by addi- 
tional details in regard to the Sekrengi, Thekrangi, Thezu- 
kepu, Titho, and Terhengi gennas, which are fairly typical 
of the observance of gennas in general. 

Angami Gennas. 

1. Sekrengi , — ^Falls on the second day after the full moon 
of the month Keno^ or of the month Kezi. When falling 
in Keno, it falls sometimes on the fifth day after the full 
moon. Five days’ kenna and penna and five more nanii 
only are observed; ceremonial dress is worn, at any rate 
in the Khonoma group. The ceremony is to ensure the health 
of the community during the coming year. The men have 
to eat separately, taking their food away from the hearth 

The Angamis divide the year into twelve months 

Thennye (approximately) 



. April. 

Zipe or Viphie . . . . 


Ketsh . 

. May. 



Chachii . 

. June. 



Chadi . . 

. July. 




. August. 



Reye . . . 

. September. 

An intercalary month, called Revu krenhye, is inserted about every fourth 
year to correct the mistakes which have arisen from calculating twelve 
lunar months to the year. It is dif&cult to see how the insertion of a full 
month would do so, but probably it merely affords an opportunity of 
starting again in the right place. The reckoning is done by old men, who 
are not e3q>licit on the point. The average Angami knows nothing about it. 




and remaining chaste for at least three days. Dogs are 
eaten in large numbers. 

This genna is not usually regarded by the Tengima as 
one of very great importance. It perhaps corresponds to 
the Kezami genna called Zdtsii, and to the Memi Supra. 
The Memi have also an important genna called Thmi^ at 
which vegetables are tabooed, which falls about the same 
time as the Sekrengi, while the Saleni genna of the Memi 
which I have given as corresponding to the Tsungi contains 
features associated with the Tengima Sekrengi. 

2. Ondngi. — ^Falls on the third day after the full moon of 
the month Kera ; marks the completion of the sowing of 
jhum land. Twelve to fourteen days’ penna are observed 
in the Khonoma group, but in the Kohima and Viswema 
groups only five days’. This genna is the most important 
of all, after the Terhengi, to the Tengima Angamis. The 
kenna is very strict. 

This genna seems to correspond to the Kezami Yekenge 
and the Memi Bilpra. 

3. Thehrdngi (called by Kohima KerUngi). — ^Palls on the 
day of the full moon of the month Chachii or else twenty 
days later, according to the state of the rice crop ; marks 
the transplantation of the paddy seedlings into the irrigated 
terraces ; three days’ penna ; ceremonial dress worn by 
Khonoma (but not by Kohima) for dhan-pounding, singing, 
and dancing ; seems to correspond to the Memi I>uni. 
A death in the village within a week or so of the Thekrangi 
genna causes its postponement for at least a day. 

This genna is regarded as of comparatively small 

4. Tsungi (called by Kohima ChddAngi). — ^Falls in 
Khonoma about seven days after the new moon, or, if the 
crop is backward, at the full moon of Reye ; in Kohima 
nine days after the new moon of the preceding month Chire. 
Khonoma observe five days’ penna, Kohima seven, and 
Viswema fifteen. The village roads and graves are cleared. 
No animals or bamboo shoots for pickles may be taken 
through the village paths, and no one is allowed to speak 
to any one of another village. This genna corresponds to 




the Kezami JEtsUnge and Memi Salem, which is regarded by 
the Memi as of particular importance and is the occasion of 
the commemoration of the ancestral dead. Cha-da-ngi = 

path-clearing genna.*’ 

5. ThezHkepH, — Celebrated by Khonoma with the Tsungi ; 
has for its object the preservation of the rice crop from 
field-mice and rats. One day’s strict penna is observed, 
followed by a day’s nanil, on which no work is done. 
Thezukepu = “ the sung mouse.” 

6. Likwmgl, — Kept by Khonoma thirty days after the 
Tsungi, and by Jotsoma with the Lideh (see infra, No. 9). 
Not observed at all by the Kohima or Viswema groups ; 
marks the beginning of the millet harvest ; three days’ 
penna observed. Likwengi = “ bird (or rather “ field ”) 
scaring genna.” 

7. TheiDuuMkwii. — Kept by Khonoma with the Likwengi, 
but by Viswema with Vateh (see No. 10), which is the first 
day of a three days’ genna, Thewiiukukwii taking up the 
last two, and the whole combination falling later than the 
Thewuukukwii in Elhonoma. In Jotsoma the Thewuukukwii 
marks the cutting of the “ ahu dhan.” Thevniukuhum = 

giving the toad his share,” in explanation of which it is 
related that the man, the rat, and the toad once found 
some rice together. When discussing its division, the rat 
(alluding to the Naga method of carrying loads slung on a 
band across the forehead) said, My head is pointed ; I 
cannot carry it, let me eat in the edge of your field as my 
share,” while the toad said that he did not want his share, 
but that the man might offer him some every year in his 
(the toad’s) name. Thus it is that the rats eat rice in the 
fields and the Thewiiukukwii is performed annually.^ 

At this genna the converse of the Sekrengi is observed, 
women having to eat separately from different dishes and 
taking their food from leaves or baskets but not from the 
platters in regular use ; they have to eat away from the 

^ For a possible explanation of the connection between the toad and 
the rice crop see “ Ck>ld6n Bough,” Vol. VIII, p. 291. The Sernas connect 
the toad with Latsapa, the spirit responsible for the rice harvest, and also, 
apparently, with thunder and lightning. See the Monograph on the Serna 




hearth, and are generally under the same restrictions as 
regards men as men are imder as regards women at the 

This genna seems to correspond to the Kezami BiUsutdh 
and the Memi BauliUdwe, at which women take liquor only 
— no cooked rice or meat— for two days, and have to eat 
apart from the men and from new dishes and using a new 
hearth, which are put aside when done with and not used 
again. The Butsiitoh and Baulutowe, however, are kept 
after No. 8 and not before it, resembling Viswema in this 

8. Tltho (or Tichu). — Kept by Khonoma five days after 
the Likwengi, has for its object the protection of the ripening 
crop from hail (Titho = Sky-ceremony). Penna is observed 
for five days by Khonoma and Kohima, by Jotsoma for 
ten days, by Viswema and by the Memi villages for at least 
thirty days. It is said that this geima used to last from 
one to three months, according to date, as it stiU does more 
or less in some of the Memi villages. 

No trade is allowed during the duration of the genna and 
it is absolutely henna to introduce into the village by way 
of trade or otherwise any white material such as salt or 
cotton or even rice. 

The genna corresponds to the Kezami Engonge^ at which 
also no new clothes may be taken from boxes for fear of 
causing wind storms, and during which it is genna to kill 
chickens, and to the Memi Muni or Chlrasd, The genna is 
regarded with particular importance by the Eastern Angamis. 

9. IMeh (called Bingl by Viswema) is performed in 
Khonoma three days after the new moon of Zipe ; by 
Jotsoma it is combined with the Likwengi. This genna 
marks the opening of the rice harvest and lasts two days. 
On the first day, called ‘‘ BlUpfU-lldeh,^^ penrui is observed 
by everyone except the Lidepfu who goes to the fields and 
cuts a few heads of paddy. The second day, called 
“ Mesl-lldeh'' is penna for everyone, and on the following 
day it is open to anyone in the village to reap as he pleases. 

This genna seems to correspond to the Kezami MeUa, 

10. TehMeh (called by Kohima Vateh or Kevd ketehd ), — 




Kept by Khonoma three days after the new moon of Rede, 
but by Kohima five days after the first moon following on 
the completion of the harvest, so that it falls sometimes in 
November and sometimes in December. The Viswema 
group combine the Thewiiukukwii with this, the Tekedeh 
occupying the first day of the combined genna, and the 
Thewiiukukwii two days more. In Khonoma this genna 
lasts five days and celebrates the completion of reaping. 

11. Terhengl, — ^Kept by Kohima eleven days after Vateh 
and with considerable circumstance, ceremonial dress being 
worn and dhan pounded. Khonoma wears no ceremonial 
dress for this genna, but then the personal gennas of Zhatho, 
Lesii, and Keteshe are not done by Khonoma. The genna 
lasts ten days and celebrates the harvest-home for the year. 
The Angamis proper, particularly Kohima, attach great 
importance to this genna. It corresponds to the Kezami 
Arrlnghe^ at which men must remain chaste for three days 
as at the Angami Sekrengi, and to the Memi Adhom. 
Terhe-ngi perhaps = “ spirit-genna (<terho). 

The following story is told in Kohima of the origin of the 
Terhengi gennas. Once upon a time an old woman lived 
at Merema village with an unmarried daughter. One day, 
when going home from her fields a terhoma called Zis5 
followed her and put his hands over her eyes from behind. 
The old woman said, “ Who are you ? Go away ! ’’ But 
Ziso said, “ I will not let you go unless you promise me your 
daughter in marriage.” So she promised and was released, 
but looking round saw no one. A few days later the same 
thing happened again, and again she promised, going home 
very sad at heart. 

Now one day the daughter went with her companions to 
work in the fields, and as she was coming home she lagged 
behind the others. Suddenly Ziso caught hold of her and 
took her to his lair and she lived with him as his wife. 

A year later she came back to her mother’s house and said 
to her, “ My husband is a very handsome and wealthy man ; 
come with me and ask of him whatever you will, and you 
will receive it. But I tell you this now : there is a small 
basket hanging on the right-hand side of the middle room 




of his dwelling, in which all kinds of animals are kept. 
Ask for nothing save only that basket.*’ Then, taking some 
husks of com, they set out for the daughter’s house, dropping 
husks along the road for fear of the old woman’s losing her 
way home again. 

After staying some days with her son-in-law, the old 
woman said she must go home. Then Ziso said, “ Tell me, 
mother-in-law, what you would like, and I will give it.” 
And the old woman answered, ‘‘ Many things I would like, 
but I cannot carry them, so I will only ask for that little 
basket hanging in the middle room, for me to keep my yeast 
in.” But Ziso was troubled at her saying and said, 
” Mother-in-law, do not ask for that but ask for something 
else.” But the old woman answered, “ I am an old woman. 
I cannot carry heavy things.” Then Ziso gave her the 
small basket, saying, ‘‘ Don’t open the cover in the road or 
anywhere until you reach home. Then put a fence about it, 
and shut the door when you open the basket, and don’t 
go out for five dajrs.” So the old woman started home with 
the basket. 

But about halfway the old woman found the basket 
very heavy, and herself longing to open it. So she took 
off the lid, and behold! Animals of every kind, mithan, 
boars, birds, mice, and every sort of beast and flying thing, 
and those which were able to fly or run swiftly came forth 
and fled, and those unable to get away were again shut in 
by the old woman as she put back the lid. Then she came 
to her house and shut the door and opened the basket, and 
the animals which remained — ^mithan, cows, pigs, dogs and 
fowls — came out of the basket, and she kept them in the 
house with the door shut for five days and they all became 
tame. These animals are called ‘‘ the woman’s share ” {then- 
yumob rl) and may be given by a man to his daughter^ ; 
the wild beasts are spoken of as “ the man’s share ” 
(fhepvUma rl). 

The following year the old woman’s daughter and son- 
in-law came to visit her and found her house filled with 

^ As opposed to land, which may only go to the male heirs. See Part III 
under “ Inheritance.” 




domestic animals. And Ziso said to the mother-in-law, 
‘‘ Kill these fat bulls, and eat them in my name.” And so 
this festival is kept every year and called Terhengi 
(Terho-ngi, “ the spirit’s feast ”), for Ziso was a spirit.^ 

With regard to the wearing of ceremonial dress at gennas 
it is noticeable that in Kohima it is kenna to wear hombiU 
feathers between the sowing of millet and reaping of the 
rice, a prohibition which rather discounts the celebration 
of gennas in dress, as ^ost of them, indeed the greater part 
of the year, fall into this period. In Kionoma, however, 
there is no such prohibition, as the Thekrangi is a full dress 
affair. Ceremonial dress, however, is never worn by the 
kindred * of persons who have recently died ; they take 
part in the genna wearing ordinary clothes. 

The Sekrengi genna,® which has for its object the preven- 
tion of illness during the coming year, begins, as all gennas 
do, by the taking of a little rice and pretending to cook it 
by holding it for a moment at the fire. It is then wrapped 
up in a plantain leaf and together with a similar miniature 
leaf cup of rice beer tied to the central post of the partition 
wall between the two main rooms of an Angami house. 
This, on the first day of the geima, is followed by a visit 
on the part of all men to the village spring, where they wash 
themselves, their weapons and tools and clothes in fresh 
water, the spring having been watched on the eve of the 
genna by boys, no doubt to prevent defilement. On 
returning, every male who is old enough to do so kills an 
unblemished cock, but must kill it by throttling it with his 
hands alone. The position of the legs at death is watched, 
and if the right leg is passed over the left and excreta passed, 
the omen is good. If, however, the omen is bad another 

^ Almost precisely the same story is recorded by Soppitt as a Kachari 
story. See “An Historical and Descriptive Account of the Kacheuri 
Tribes of the North Cachar Hills,” by C. A. Soppitt. Shillong, 1886. 
Reprinted with an introduction by E. C. Stuart Baker, 1901, pp. 66-57. 

* Where the kindred is a large one this would only apply to the nearer 

* This accoimt is of the Sekrengi genna as observed in Jotsoma. Details 
vary from village to village. 




and another cock is kiUed until one dies with its legs in the 
right position.^ Each man after killing his cock makes a 
fire, which he must light from a fire-stick and nothing else ; 
matches or burning brands must not be used to light this 
fire, and in the lighting of the fire another omen is taken. 
If the spark is first produced to the right of the stick the 
year will be a good one for men, if to the left for women. 
The cock killed is cooked on the fire made, and eaten by 
the man who killed it. Beef and pork may also be eaten, 
but it is the custom to eat dogs’ flesh in particular at the 
Sekrengi genna. In the Khonoma group, where this 
custom is particularly well observed, many households eat 
several dogs during the Sekrengi. No reason is given for 
this canine diet except that it is the custom, much, one 
may suppose, as turkeys are eaten at Christmas in England. 
The Lhotas, however, who eat dog in a precisely similar 
way at the genna by which they propitiate their evil spirit 
Tsungram (? Tsungram = Sekre), say that they sacrifice 
and eat dogs because the dog being the most cunning of all 
beasts is preferred as a sacrifice by the evil one to all other 
animals. It may be noted, however, that the Angamis 
regard dogs’ flesh as an excellent tonic and pick-me-up for 
anyone who is in poor health. This probably has a good 
deal to do with the dog diet at the Sekrengi, which is observed 
to secure good health in the coming year. 

The strangling of cocks and the Sekrengi genna generally 
is the occasion on which male children leave the “ women’s 
side.” In Jotsoma and KJionoma the boy old enough to 
strangle a cock may no longer sleep on his mother’s bed, and 
if he does not sleep on a third bed will sleep on his father’s. 
In the Kohima group the boy has to leave his parents’ 
bedroom entirely and sleep in the outer portion of the house, 
and generally speaking he begins to associate with the other 
boys of the village rather than with his mother. 

During the whole of the first two days of the Sekrengi 
geima aU men are henna. They have to eat separately and 
the women may not approach them, and may not even 

^ In Khonoma this is done at intervals of one month. In Kohima not 
at all. 

SEKiiENur Oenna Bamboo with small, birds, etc., tied to it 

[To face p . 205. 




draw water for them as on other days. On the fourth day 
of the genna the young men put on ceremonial dress and 
go to the jungle, from which they fetch in pith, sticks, and 
wood, from which they make gigantic reproductions in the 
traditional colours and type of the largest kind of bead 
necklaces worn by men. These they string up in a large 
house in which they congregate after the evening meal and 
sing. This house is called the theha ki and seems to be selected 
for its size and general convenience. It is also the custom 
during this genna for the young men, more particularly in 
Eastern Angami villages, to go out into the jungle armed 
with pellet-bows and to bring back numbers of birds, 
lizards, mice, etc., which they tie to long bamboo poles 
and set up in front of their houses. Prosperity in general 
and in particular success in war in the coming year 
depends on the number of small birds and animals taken. 
The village is strictly penna for the first five days of the 
genna, work of any sort being forbidden, and, of course, 
all coming and going to or from the village. In addition 
to this, during a further five days of nanii no work is done 
in the fields. 

It is at the end of this genna that the Lidepfii collects her 
fees for opening the harvest, sending four or five men of 
her clan to collect paddy — ^a small basketful from each 
house. The fact that the First-reaper collects at this 
genna while the First-sower collects after the harvest genna 
is noticeable. Taken in conjunction with the fact that 
performers of these offices are usually old and poor and 
have little or no cultivation of their own, it possibly 
suggests the existence of a fear lest the acts of beginning 
the sowing or reaping should bring some ill consequence 
upon the crop of the first sower or reaper, and that it is to 
avoid associating themselves with some such misfortune 
that the rest of the village delay contributions until another 
agricultural year. It is possibly intended, however, to 
make the First-sower “ reap what he has sown ” and suffer 
(in his contributions) for a bad crop. 

The Thekrangi genna is marked by dancing and singing 
on the part of the young men, boys, and girls who are 




unmarried, or married but who have no children. In the 
afternoon of the second day they turn out in full dress and 
pound dhan and sing in the theha Id, the girls and men being 
on opposite sides of the pounding trestle and singing staves 
alternately. This is followed by a procession round the 
courtyard of the house, the men carrying mithan horns of 
rice beer and the girls carrying leaf cups, while the procession 
is headed by a man carrying a veteran’s spear, covered 
with tresses of human hair, but deprived of its iron head, 
for which a point of rolled plantain leaf is substituted, for 
fear of someone’s getting injured if the iron head were 
retained. In the rear of the procession one of the young 
men carries a pair of the shield-horns adorned with human 
tresses that are worn on warriors’ shields. The two horns 
are tied together and carried over the shoulder ; sometimes, 
however, a second spear is carried instead. On the approach 
of a similar party from another clan in the village (the cases 
witnessed by the writer were at Khonoma), both parties go 
to the tehvJba^ outside the house of the Kemovo and ‘‘ dance ” 
and sing there, the songs being sung by the men until the 
conclusion, when the song is finished up with the assistance 
of two girls specially picked for the part. Each clan 
occupies the lehuba in turn, returning from it to the tehuba 
of the clan and thence to the courtyards of their theka ki. 
The tehuba regarded as the village tehuba must be visited 
first. The dancing consists of going solemnly in a procession 
round the circle, the lines sometimes dividing into two, so 
that one goes one way and the other the opposite 
way ; the girls are told off as partners to the boys and 
move in a sort of second rank on the inside of the boys. 
This goes on for a couple of hours or so, the parties eventually, 
after singing for a short time inside the theka ki, breaking 
up and going to their homes for the evening meal. It is 

^ For tehuba, see Part 11. Each clan in a laige village like Khonoma 
has its own Kemovo with a Uhuba outside his house, but one of 
these Kemovo is regarded as the village Kemovo and takes precedence 
of the others. In iOionoma the village kemovo is the Kemovo of the 
Thevoma clan, the only Pezoma clan in the village, though whether the 
village kemovo is always Pezoma in a genuinely mixed Pezoma-Pepftima 
village 1 cannot say. 




imluol^ for rain to fall during the singing and dancing in 
the tehvba. It is regarded as an omen of death, and, uidess 
very slight, necessitates the abstention from all ceremonial 
during the observation of the genna in the following year. 
Heavy rain, of course, stops proceedings at once, as it would 
ruin the ceremonial costume of the men in no time. 

In the evening each party meets again in the theka ki of 
the clan to sing. The men arrive first and sit down in two 
opposite rows on benches placed ready at the two ends of 
the big front room cleared for the occasion and with a fire 
lit in the centre. The huge head-dresses are reduced to 
possible dimensions by taking out all but the centre feather 
spoke and bringing up the two little spokes at the back to 
close on each side of it, giving a sort of fieur-de-lys effect. 
The men sit as close to one another as they can in exactly 
the same attitude, with a mithan horn of rice beer, from 
which they do not drink, held in the right hand, the right 
arm resting on the right knee. The girls turn up a little 
later and sit down on benches along the two sides of the 
room, but leaving passage room along the side on to which 
the doors give, which is crowded with spectators as thick 
as they can be packed. The girls keep their eyes fixed on 
the ground, for they are regarded as most immodest if they 
look about them at all — at least in public — on such occasions. 
In the privacy of the outer darkness a good deal of flirtation 
probably goes on. The singing is in alternate verses in 
some cases, but men's songs are also sung by the men only 
and women's songs by women. The subjects of some of 
the songs are considered particularly appropriate to the 
occasion, the song given at the end of Part I of this 
Monograph, while in other cases they may be any songs 
current in the village ; one, for instance, of those heard by 
the writer told how the young men had hunted a sambhar 
for a very long distance and been benighted in the jungle, 
while another was a request from a wife to her husband to 
bring her back two flowers from the jungle when he came 
home, one for her and one for the child. This singing in 
the evening takes place on aU three days of the genna and 
lasts most of the night, but only on the second and third 




days is ceremonial dress worn, and then not always on the 
third day. If there are enough unmarried boys and girls to 
form a procession by themselves, this procession takes 
place on the second day without dhan-pounding or the 
carrying of spear or shield-horns, and sometimes mere 
children take part, while the older unmarried and the 
young childless married persons perform the genna as 
already described on the third day instead of the second. 
If, however, the number of eligible performers be few, the 
genna is performed as described on the second day. Platters 
of pork, sprinkled with salt, are also carried in the procession 
and given to each married girl taking part, the bride’s 
mother giving a chicken to the bringer in exchange. Dhan- 
pounding and the carrying of spears, etc., in the procession 
is definitely connected with the participation of married 
persons in the genna, which seems to be intended to 
promote the fertility of the crops and of newly married 

The Thezukepu is in some ways perhaps the most interest- 
ing of all the Angami gennas. It is not regarded as having 
the importance of the Gnongi, the Terhengi, or the Titho, 
but the first two of these at any rate are not marked by 
nearly such intriguing details as the Thezukepu, ‘‘ the Sung 
Mouse.”^ The account of it given here is the genna as 
observed in Jotsoma. On the eve of the first day of the 
genna the young men of the village look for a sort of field- 
mouse called “ Zuhrano,'' and catching one alive and putting 
it into a section of bamboo, place it outside the house which 
does duty as the Morung. After the evening meal the 
young men assemble at this house and choose one of their 
number who is to throw the mouse. ^ The mouse is taken 
from the bamboo, and its ears are bored and cotton-wool 
put in them as though it were a man. It is then placed in 
the hand of the man selected to throw it away ; the young 
men gird up their loins, and the man living in the most 
outlying house of the village is called to, but does not leave 

^ Or possibly “ telling ofE the rat ” would be a more correct rendering. 

* He is called th&MhSaBQ » “ (the one) who throws the noiouse.’* 




his house. The mouse-thrower, stripped naked, then runs 
as fast as he can through the village, from the bottom 
towards the top, and outside, and throwing the mouse away 
down the village path tells it to go to such and such a 
village, naming some remote village of the Eastern Angamis, 
Sernas or elsewhere. The thrower is accompanied meanwhile 
by a dozen or so other young men, who run along with him 
snatching sticks from the fences and beating upon the 
ground, singing and shouting to frighten away the mice. 
The thrower runs back to the Morung house and jumps up 
upon the machan used for sleeping, and is not allowed to 
step down to earth again for twenty-four hours. Meanwhile, 
from the time when the man in the furthest house of the 
village has been called, all the older men and the women 
staying in their houses stamp and shout as though driving 
the mice out of the village, and from the moment that the 
first sound of this stamping and shouting is heard no one 
may eat or drink again that night, and those in the middle 
of a meal must stop it. On the following day the village is 
jpenna and no one may pick vegetables. This day is called 
“ ThezukepuJ' On the next day, called “ Reddeh"* a pig 
is sacrificed in order to make the rice in the houses last well. 

The origin of the Titho genna is said to have been the 
destruction of the crop year after year by hail. At last the 
people asked a wise man what to do, and he told them to do 
a genna or they would always lose their crops. Accordingly 
a six days’ genna is done every year by Jotsoma, who do 
this genna rather more thoroughly than the other villages 
of the Khonoma, Kohima, and Chakroma groups. At 
Jotsoma two or three panjis are placed by the Kemovo on 
each side of the village path and an unblemished cock is 
released into the jungle. This is done twice, once at one 
side of the village, once at another. No other villages of 
the Khonoma or Kohima groups, however, still observe this 
custom. But the Memi village of Mekrima, from which 
the Tengima villages derive their observance of this 
ceremony, actually release a calf at this genna. This calf 
must be pitch black without a white spot. It is hobbled 




with thin creepers for fire days, and if during these five 
days it escapes in spite of the hobbles, hail is certain to 
fall. In Sopvoma the black calf is tied to a certain stone 
for a whole day, and if it remains silent the omen is good, 
if it lows to one side or the other bad hail may be expected 
from that quarter. All Angami villages prohibit the 
export or import during the genna of rice, salt, cotton, beads 
(particularly white beads), wooden dishes, ivory armlets, 
or any other white material. 

It has been already stated that the object of this genna 
is to avert hail. Hail constitutes a very serious danger to 
the Angami rice crop when the latter is ripening, and in the 
higher hills about the Barail range is of by no means 
uncommon occurrence. The reduction in the duration 
and in the importance of the genna among the more 
northerly and westerly villages of the Angamis is no doubt 
the result of the lessened danger from hail, while the pro- 
hibition laid on white materials is probably based on the 
theory that their whiteness will cause a fall of white hail- 
stones. In some of the Naga villages in the Manipur State 
the genna is observed from the time when the crop begins 
to ripen practically until the harvest, as will be seen from 
the following notes, for which the writer is indebted to the 
kindness of Colonel Shakespear : — 

** Mao. Chijira goshiir genna, for just under three months 
no trading allowed in the thirteen villages which obey the 
Mohvu^ of Pudugnamei.2 It begins eight days before a new 
moon and lasts two whole months and eight days into the 
next, which is the new moon of November.” 

*‘Maikel. The Maikel Khullakpa^ can declare a genna 
called Kapdni, which lasts two months and sixteen days. 
A cow is tied up, and in which direction it bellows, hail is 
feared. Trading is stopped. This is the same as Chijira 
goshiir. The first day of the genna extends to Kohima.” 

** Purun.® Uchijiragashur — a genna for a month in October. 
Purum, Omam, Theba Khulel, and Khuno and Koide keep 
this genna. It is prohibited to bring fowls, cows, salt, pigs, 

^ Mohvu is the Memi word « Tengima Kemovo, to which KhuUdkpa, 
a Mampuri word, also corresponds, “ Maikel ” =» Mekrima. 

* i.e., Sopyo-terhema. 

* A Khoirao village, but with probably a strong Memi admixture. 




dogs, into another village boundaries. Stone-pullers must 
remain chaste. The genna is only kept for a month by 
these villages, but they take the word for it from the 
Mohvu of Maikel.” 

The gennas above enumerated are clearly connected with 
the agricultural year, or at any rate with the agricultural 
interest of the community. Other communal gennas there 
are, however, which though of infrequent and irregular 
occurrence cannot be entirely passed over. Such an one 
is the genna at which war dancing is indulged in. This is 
a genna of little importance and occurs only now and then 
— once perhaps in about seven years or more, and at no 
fixed interval. It is proclaimed by the Kemovo when the 
number of young men in the clan is unusually large. Possibly 
in the days of Angami independence it may have been 
followed as a rule by a military expedition, but nowadays 
it consists only of a day or two’s penrui and the putting on 
ceremonial costume by the young men, who dance war 
dances before the assembled clan or village, to the great 
gratification of the other sex. 

Another is a genna observed, if not yearly, at any rate 
frequently, and often in consecutive years, by the clan as 
differentiated from the village. This consists in paying a 
visit to the members of a friendly clan in another village. 
Many clans have long-standing ties of friendship with 
particular clans in other villages and the memory of such 
ties is preserved and kept green by these visits. The visits 
take place on invitation, and a ^y is fixed on which the 
male members of the invited clan put on ceremonial dress 
and go in a procession with no little pomp to the village of 
their hosts, where one or two days’ nanu is observed, both 
parties dressing ceremonially and indulging in much 
dancing, feasting, and merry-making. These visits are 
often paid between clans of distant villages, villages some- 
times two or three days’ journey apart, as when the Thevoma 
clan of Khonoma visited the Kipoma clan of Eigwema, 
sleeping one night at Jotsoma on the way, or when one of 
the clans of Bazama paid a visit to a friendly clan in Kohima, 
three days’ journey away. In such a case the whole journey 




is performed in ceremonial dress and rain is a serious disaster. 
These visits are paid about the month of March and at no 
other time of the year. The clan which issues the invitation 
is occupied for several days in preparing a Vast quantity of 
liquor, and numbers of animals are killed for the feast. 
Males of all ages take part in the visit and the dancing. 

In addition to these and other recurrent gennas, any 
untoward or unusual occurrence may call for the observ- 
ance of a genna by the village or clan, as, for instance, the 
fall of any earth on to a genna stone (kipuchie) or the 
dragging of a new door for the village gateway. The 
latter ceremony is performed at Sachema as follows : — 

The door is dragged up beforehand to within half a mile 
or so of the village. This is done without ceremonial dress 
and is not attended by genna. On the day of the ceremony 
the Kemovo takes some new ‘‘ pita modhu ” and a cock 
and goes early in the morning to the stump of the tree from 
which the door was cut. The cock is fed and let loose, 
while the “ modhu ’’ is poured into a plantain-leaf cup. A 
little ** modhu ” is also poured on to a plantain leaf and 
offered to the cook. If the cock takes the modhu it is 
regarded as a good omen. The Kemovo then goes to the 
door itself, taking with him the Zhevo and Tsakro. The 
two former take grass (kurhi) and touch the door with it, 
addressing the door in the following terms : — 

‘‘ You must not stay here but go to the place appointed 
for you. Men shall be more in number, paddy and culti- 
vation shall be more prosperous, cattle, dogs, etc., shall be 
more plentiful.’’ 

The Kemovo ties two thin strings to the door and drags 
at and breaks them. Then two boys, who have never had 
sexual intercourse, one Kepezoma and one Kepepfiima and 
both naked, the former on the right and the other on the 
left, tie on two string ropes, which must on no account 
subsequently break, and pull them. Then all the men may 
take hold of the ropes, and they proceed to drag up the 
door towards the gateway. On the way up the door is 
stopped and blessed by the Tsakro, the Zhevo and Kemovo 
having done so before as already described. 




No one is allowed to foUow or get behind the door ; and 
all spectators and women have to get inside the village walls 
before the door arrives at the gate. The clan to whom the 
door belongs drags the right rope and the other clan or clans 
drag the left rope. Every male in the village (including 
small boys) has to have his hand on the rope, though the 
dragging is really done by a dragging party. 

On arriving at the gate, the draggers being inside, the 
clan to whom the dooif belongs first drop their rope and go 
in procession to the tehuba. When they have all left, the 
others follow. Then the Kemovo, the Zhevo, and the 
Tsakro take a fowl and touch the door with its beak and 
repeat the blessing. The fowl is then killed with a piece of 
wood in the house of a man near the gate, where the “modhu ” 
for the genna has also been made, and it is eaten that night 
by the Kemovo only off plantain leaves. 

A dance called sovi follows. 

A large amount of a compound called hinu is prepared 
from maize. Job’s tears, rice, beans, chillies, salt, and 

hmya^ This is the only food to be eaten that day after 
the dragging of the door until the evening meal. 

All the men wear dancing dress (without arms), except 
those who have had a death in the house, and they wear 
ordinary clothes, as at all gennas at which ceremonial dress 
is worn. Before the ceremony strangers are not allowed 
inside the houses where the preparations for the genna are 
going on. 

Should the clothes and miscellaneous stuff left on one side 
by persons working in the fields get burnt while they are doing 
so, a mi-penria {mi = ‘‘ fire ”) is kept by the whole village. 

One was observed in Kohima village on March 25, 1919. 
Should the stubble catch fire at harvest time, too, a mi-penna 
is observed, while if the wind should overturn the mat used 
for threshing and winnowing the grain a genna called 
Thekrelhdpe is observed. 

The gennas which attend the life of the individual Angami 
fall roughly into two divisions : the gennas which are more Genna 
or less inseparable from his existence in the community, 




gezmas, that is to say, which attend all ordinary individuals, 
at his birth, his marriage, and his death, and the gennas 
which are more or less optional and which determine his 
status in the society. It is perhaps simplest to deal first 
with the gennas that attend all individuals and afterwards 
with those that are not essential. 

An Angami woman when about to deliver ^ a child breaks 
the strings of beads that she is wearing, letting the beads 
fall about the floor, and throws off all her clothes except a 
single cloth wrapped round her body Hke a shawl. She 
delivers her child hanging by her hands to a head-band 
(for carrying loads), which is fastened to a beam in the 
house, her knees being clear of the ground. The genna 
that follows is the same whichever the sex of the child. 
The mother is kept separate from the rest of the household, 
her bed being separated, and a separate hearth being built 
for her, though in the same room as the general hearth. 
Immediately after the delivery and before the cutting of the 
navel-string,* she is fed on rice-beer, rice, and the flesh of a 
hen (never that of a cook) which has been touched by the 
child. For five days, for ten in the case of her first child,* 
the mother is fed exclusively on this food, a second hen 
being killed if the first is not enough, and during these five 
days her husband is Tcenna^ and in some villages the whole 
household is kenna. The household is kenna in any case on 
the day of birth,* as it is if any domestic animal gives birth 
to young. 

When the five days have expired the mother is allowed to 

^ The Keasami Angamis when a birth is about to take place put all 
eatables and drinkables outside the house. The Kacha Nagcis do the same, 
but not the Tengima Angamis. 

• Among the Menu, at any rate, this is done by the mother herself 
with a bamboo knife. 1 think the Tengima bury the placetUa in the house. 
Certainly the Memi do. 

* It is after the birth of her first child that an Angami girl removes 
from her ears the white shells that she has worn from infancy. She gives 
them to her husband. Similar shells are worn by the Ao girl, who, however, 
parts with them when she is tattooed, a ceremony which takes place as 
soon as she is considered old enough to be married and usually after her 
betrothal, or what practically amounts to such. 

■ * The RTagas remain kenna for thirty days after a birth. 




go out, but by the back door of the house only, and if there 
is no back door one has to be made for the purpose. No 
one must see her going out, she goes out by stealth, taking 
all the cooking, eating, and drinking utensils of the household 
with her, and when no one is looking she throwrs them away 
behind the house. Her husband opens the back door for 
her and keeps a look-out to see that there is no one watching, 
but he must not look at his wife as she is coming-out to 
throw the things away.» 

The baby is washed with warm water on the day of its 
birth, and this washing is followed by the cutting of the 
navel cord, but it is not washed again till the five days’ 
genna have expired. On the sixth day, after throwing 
away the cooking utensils, the mother l^kes any child of 
her husband’s kindred and of the same sex as her baby and 
goes with this child to the village water-hole. The child 
draws water and gives it to the mother, who carries it back 
to the house and washes her baby with it without heating 
the water. The mother also on her way plucks two or three 
sprays of the plant called ** tsoheh,** which she brings back 
with her. She puts a drop of water and then a twig of this 
plant on the babe’s forehead and adjures it to become strong 
and hard like the tsoheh plant. At the same time she tears 
the twig in two.^ This ceremony she repeats on the right 
and on the left hand of the infant. On the eighth day she 
carries the child who accompanied her to the well to the 
house of one of her husband’s kindred who is newly married 
and has suffered no misfortune. For this purpose the 
house of a married man whose children are all alive will also 
serve. The wife of this man places a little rice beer on the 
child’s lips and gives the child a little rice and a little rice 
beer in a diminutive gourd, after which the mother of the 
newly-bom baby again carries the child back to her 

The infant, when it grows up, stands in a particular 
relation to the newly-married man to whose house the 
child was taken. He or she must call him ** father ” and 

^ Ib this in order that the virtue of the plant may leave it and so pass 
into the child f 




his wife mother/’ and neither must on any account behave 
aggressively toward the other. 

On the ninth day the father and the mother, taking the 
baby ^ itself, go to the fields, and after pretending to do a 
little work they eat and drink and then return home. 
Sometimes they do not even go to their fields, but go out of 
the village and dig some ground anywhere at all. When 
returning home they bring back two pieces of alder tree. 
This concludes all birth ceremonies. 

If the chUd be bom dead, or die before the completion of 
the five days’ genna, one day’s Jcerma is observed, nothing 
more, and the child is buried inside the house. The father 
must be present when it is buried, and if he is away from 
home the burial of the body is put off until he returns. A 
case occurred in Jotsoma during the Abor expedition of 
1912 in which the wife of a man who was with the expedition 
gave birth to a daughter which died. The body was kept 
unburied in the house for two months until the father 
returned to his family — and they living in the house all the 

If a woman die in childbirth or before the completion 
of the five days’ genna, she is taken out, not by the door, 
but through a hole made in the side of the house, and buried 
with aU her property. Her baby is taken out and buried 
with her, if it die as well. Should it live it would normally 
be brought up on rice pulp, but cases of gynecomastism 
seem to occur occasionally.® There is at the time of writing 
a girl in Jotsoma whose mother died when she was an 
infant and who was suckled by her father Niselhu, also 
still living, who first let the child suck at his breast to comfort 
it, but after a time was able to give it milk. In the Lhota 

* In one version of the birth ceremonial given me it was the baby itself 
which was fed in the house of one of the husband’s kindred, while it was 
a boy or girl from the husband’s kindred who was taken out of the village 
to dig. 

* See Haeckel, ** Evolution of Man,” p. 114. 

In Yampi, a Chang village, there is a noted warrior named Yenso, 
who is said to have breasts like a woman, while in Yuonyar there is an 
hermaphrodite named Chualan Abaja. Cases of the suckling of orphaned 
children by quite old women seem to occur from time to time among the 




village of Longsa a girl named Pontselo, still living, is said 
to have been suckled by her father Chiathang from the 
time she was fifteen days old, when her mother died. Angami 
children are usually suckled until they are two or three 
years old. One may frequently see a woman with a baby 
and an older child, both of which she is suckling. Children 
whose father dies remain in the custody of the mother or 
her relations until weaned, after which the father’s heirs 
have the custody of them. 

Infanticide used to be practised in the case of children 
bom of unmarried girls. In such cases delivery had to 
take place in the jungle, and the child was killed ; the 
Kezami women used further to pierce its feet all over with 
thorns to prevent its visiting and haunting the mother in 
her dreams. It was believed that if it was allowed to grow 
up the village would have no success in hunting or in war. 
Nowadays an unmarried girl who is pregnant is turned out 
of her parents’ house before delivery, and gives birth in the 
cow-house of someone else’s porch or some similar place, 
and the presence of any second person at the time of delivery 
is henna. Whether the mother performs any ceremony is 
not known. 

Twins are uncommon, but the occurrence of twins is 
not disliked ^ and if both are boys it is a matter for con- 
gratulation ; their mother is under an obligation to give 
them flowers of the same variety and cloths of exactly the 
same pattern. ^ Triplets are very rare indeed. One case is 
remembered to have occurred in Mozema, but all three died. 

The Angamis have no ear-piercing ceremony, the ears of 
girls being pierced when they are from six to twelve months 
old, and those of boys as soon as they can speak. Also, 
in the case of the majority of them, no naming ceremony is 
performed. A ceremony, however, is sometimes performed 
on the fifth day after birth, when the omens are taken in 
the usual way by slicing pieces from a stick of the shrub 

^ It is regarded as extremely fortunate by the Memi. 

• Of. “Nigerian Notes. (HI) Twins,” by N. W. Thomas, Man, 
Nov. 1919, No. 87. In the cases mentioned from Nigeria one of the twins 
dies if whatever is given to the elder is not given to the younger also. 




called chiese, and dropping two pieces parallel, and other 
two on the top of them. If the second two stay on without 
ame. falling off, the name suggested is chosen.^ This name is, 
with the Angamis, a name of abstract significance suggesting 
the presence of good qualities or good fortune, such as 
Revise, “ arriving at a good time,” Vinile, ‘‘ keep good,” 
Viyale, “ let your share be good,” Rhichale, long living ” 
(or “ long let him live ”), Visanyii, “ want more good,” 
Zelucha, which might be rendered “ Companion on the 
Long Road.”2 The root vi (“ good ”) is particularly common, 
as in Vibile, Visopra, Visatsii, Viponyii, and a host of others. 
There are, however, certain circumstances under which a 
child is given a second name. Should he be bom under 
conditions of unusual distress or affliction his mother will 
give him a suitable name of precisely an opposite nature 
to that of the names mentioned.® This name is in some 
villages kept secret^ and told to no one but the child himself 

^ A child is called at first ” Kechibu ” or “ Kechino,** according to sex, 
until someone, usually one of its parents, gives it a name. The husband's 
relations are sometimes, but not necessarily, consulted. 

The Aos take the similar omen with the fire -stick, when they take one 
at all. 

* This rendering is perhaps a little fanciful. An English-speaking 
Angami translated it to me as meaning *Uong comfortation,*’ but this 
does not give the full idea either. The word contains the ideas of 
companionship, consolation, and road, duration, or distance, and was 
given because his parents had lost two or three sons bom to them previously 
and hoped to be comforted by Zelucha into their old age. 

• The Serna nomenclature (Monograph on the Serna Nagas) may bo 

^ Precise information on this point is almost impossible to obtain. 
Many Angamis have told me that no such custom as that of giving a 
secret name, or even a second name, exists at all, yet I was told about the 
custom by an intelligent Angami of Jotsoma, whose information on other 
points proved most reliable and who would have been most unlikely to 
mislead me deliberately. Further, it is very difficult to see how he could 
have invented the existence of such a practice. It may be that it is only 
known to those who have second names, of whose number my informant 
may possibly have been one. In Kohima village second names are given 
which are not secret, but which are only known to a few mtimates and 
relations. Visanyft of Kohima (see Part III, “ Genealogies ”) informed 
me that he had a second name, Miacho = little flesh,” i.e. ** tiny,” 
given him by his mother at the time of his birth because he was so puny, 
but not used and only known to a few. 




when he is old enough, and the very existence of such a 
second name and of the practice of giving one is stoutly 
denied. In other villages the second name, though not a 
secret, is not generally known and is not used. The Angami 
has an objection, stiU strong in some places, although not 
insurmountable and now rapidly dying out, to mentioning 
his own name himself. If he does so he is liable to be 
mocked at by his fellows as an ‘‘ huthu,^^ i.c. an owl that is 
always calling out its dwn name, while every Angami is 
averse to mentioning the name of his wife. In the case of 
a newly-married man nothing will induce him to do so. 
Women likewise are very reluctant to mention their own 

When about four to six years old a boy leaves his mother’s 
side (till then he may sleep on his mother’s bed) and goes 
to his father’s side of the house. This takes place at the 
Sekrengi genna, when the child strangles a fowl according 
to custom. From that time forward he definitely belongs 
to the male community and no longer remains with the 
women at gennas, when the sexes are separated. In the 
Kohima group he is no longer allowed to sleep in the same 
room as his parents. There is no ceremony on attaining 
puberty or on assuming man’s clothes. 

Bad language must be avoided while a child’s first cloth 
is being woven, as if bad language is used under such 
circumstances the child that wears it will be affected for 
the worse. 

The Angamis, as has already been noticed, are monogamous Mar- 
aud exogamous. One case of bigamy, but only one, is 
known to have taken place among the Tengima Angamis, 
and although it is somewhat commoner among the Memi, 
it is looked on by them also with disfavour. The marriage 
by a man of two sisters concurrently is forbidden, and the 
second marriage is usually a non-ceremonial one. There 
are among all Angamis two forms of marriage, one celebrated 
with ceremony and formality, and one without, and although 
both forms are equally binding and the informal marriage 
confers no social stigma or disability on the wife or on her 

^ See also Part in, “ Position of Women.” 




issue, the ceremonial form is preferred by persons aspiring 
to the respect of themselves and their fellows. It entails, 
however, a certain amount of expense, though that is little 
enough, and a certain amount of formality, which is some- 
times perhaps irksome. 

The informal marriage consists merely in a man’s taking 
a girl to his house, where they remain henna for one day. 
Where it takes place it is usuaDy the outcome of an intrigue 
between the two, or is necessitated by the poverty of the 

The ceremonial marriage is very much more formal. A 
man who intends to get married employs or gets his father 
to employ an old woman as a go-between with the girl’s 
parents. She makes all the arrangements and there is no 
intercourse between the parties. First omens are taken 
by strangling a fowl and watching the position assumed by 
its legs as it dies. If the right leg crosses over above the 
left the omen is good. Then both the man and the girl 
must note their dreams on the same night. Dreams of 
weeping, of excretion, or of the sexual act are bad, but if 
the man’s dreams have been good, the old woman goes and 
asks the girl what hers were like. If hers have also been 
good, the marriage price is discussed by the old woman with 
the girl’s parents. The marriage price consists normally 
of a spear,^ two pigs, and fifteen or sixteen fowls. The man 
will buy a spear, pigs, chickens, and keep them in his house, 
while the girl starts making rice beer in readiness for the 
ceremony. At this point in the proceedings there is fre- 
quently some delay, but when everything is satisfactorily 
and finally arranged, young men of the girl’s family and of 
her own age go on the day fixed to the bridegroom’s house 
and carry off, as though by force, the spear and the pigs 
and chickens, which they kill and eat at the bride’s house, 

* Whatever its significance here, the presenilation of a spear is usually 
regarded among Nagas in general as in some sense the tribute of an inferior 
to a superior, or as signifying the recognition of some obligation under 
which the giver lies in regard to the recipient. It is commonly given by 
one village to another when the former cultivates land on sufieranoe from 
the latter, and it often forms part of the penalty paid to an injured husband 
by his wife’s paramour. 




and all the girl’s kindred go and eat and drink there. One 
basket is filled with small pieces of flesh ; one leg of pork is 
set aside ; and four or five gourds are filled with liquor and 
set aside. At dusk two men take this meat and drink and 
take their places in a procession which goes to the bride- 
groom’s house. This procession is thus composed ; First 
the bride, next one boy and three girls from among her 
companions, then the two men carrying meat and drink, 
and finally a number oi young men of the bride’s kindred 
and clan, singing. Inside the bridegroom’s house are the 
bridegroom and his parents, no one else. When the pro- 
cession arrives the first seven persons mentioned as composing 
it go inside,^ but only the first five of these remain, and all 
talking must be in a whisper. First of all the bridegroom 
eats of the meat and drink brought by the men, while the 
bride eats a little piece of liver and of rice, which she has 
brought with her, and drinks liquor brought by her in a 
little “ lao ” and poured into a small leaf cup likewise brought 
by her. Then the bridegroom’s parents eat and drink, and 
then the rest ; after they have all eaten the bridegroom goes 
to the “ morung ” house and sits on the “ machan.” Next 
the bridegroom’s kindred present the bride’s escort with a 
big fowl and give one fowl each to the two who brought the 
meat and drink, after which all go away to their houses 
except the one boy and three girls, who spend the night in 
the bridegroom’s house, the groom staying in the “ morung.” 
Next morning one of the bridegroom’s kindred gives a fowl 
each to the boy and to the three girls. Then the bride- 
groom’s mother gives the bride liquor in a leaf cup, which 
she drinks up. The bride must not leave the house before 
sunrise, after which she takes a pitcher and fetches water 
and cooks for the household. 

This day the household is henna, but on the following 
day the bride and the bridegroom go to the fields and work 

' A Kacha Naga bride has to step into the bridegroom’s house with her 
right foot, placing it upon a piece of iron (a rupee is often used nowadays) 
laid on the threshold of the house. A Serna bride carries a dao in her 
hand which she gives to her husband. She also has to step across the 
threshold with her right foot first. She always spends the night c^ter 
arriving at her husband’s house with her parents. 


together on the part given to them by the latter’s parents. 
They eat together in the fields. For the next three days 
they are confined to their own village and its lands, not 
being allowed to visit other villages, but after these three 
days the ceremony is complete. There is usually, however, 
no consummation of the marriage for at least two or three 
months, and it is said that this is delayed sometimes for as 
long as a year “ for shame,” during which time the bride- 
groom sleeps at the “ morung.” In the Khonoma group a 
delay of several months is normal. 

The marriage rites as performed by the Eastern Angamis 
are more elaborate, and an account of the Memi ceremony 
follows. It is taken from an unpublished note of Major 
Kennedy made during the Assam Census of 1901. 

‘‘ The young man or his parents send an old man or 
woman to the girl’s parents with a proposal of marriage. 
If the latter agree to the match, an answer is sent to that 
effect, and then both the girl and young man consult their 
dreams. Dreams of water, a tiger, dhan, etc., are considered 
lucky, while dreams concerning pigs, a dead person, etc., 
are unlucky. If the dreams of one party are bad, and those 
of the other party good, they consult their dreams again 
at the time of the next new moon. Should the dreams of 
both sides be auspicious, negotiations regarding the property 
to be contributed by each are entered upon. The girl is 
supposed to contribute at least half as much property as 
the man. Her dowry consists of dhan, cattle, fields, and 
beads. When this is settled, a day is fixed for the wedding. 
On that day, an old woman of the husband’s ‘ khel is 
sent to bring the bride. The old woman takes two hoes as 
a present to the bride’s mother. The old woman then 
brings the bride to her husband’s house, the ^rl being 
imattended by any of her own people. The bride takes 
with her two laos of dzu and a seer or so of rice, together 
with her own clothes in her khang (basket). When the 
bride reaches the bridegroom’s house, the old woman who 
accompanies her gives the bridegroom and bride a piece of 
plantain leaf, of which they make cups. The old woman 
then fills the cups with dzu from the bridegroom’s house. 
The bride and bridegroom, without drinking the dzu^ 

^ ** Khel ’* in this note means ** clan,” the Angami “ thino'' 




exchange the cups of dzu, which they then place in crevices 
of the wall, the man on the right side of the entrance door, 
and the woman on the left side thereof, inside the house. 
Any number of young girls belonging to the bridegroom’s 
* khel are assembled, except seven, which is considered 
by the Memis, A^amis, and Kezhamas as an unlucky 
number. These girls consume the dzu brought by the 
bride. That night a young girl of the husband’s ‘ khel ’ 
sleeps with the bride. The bride is not allowed to eat food 
cooked in her husband’d house. That night the bridegroom 
sleeps in the young men’s dormitory till about midnight, 
when he returns to his house, and calls the young girl who 
is sleeping with his bride, and conducts her back to her 
father’s house. He then goes back to his house, and makes 
a noise at the door, on hearing which his father and mother 
and all occupants of the house, except the bride, leave the 
house. The bridegroom then enters and has connection 
with the bride, after which he returns to the young men’s 
dormitory, his parents, etc,, returning to the house. Next 
day the bride and bridegroom bathe at separate springs, the 
bride being accompanied by the girl who slept with her the 
night before, and her ablutions being performed in the 
morning. The bridegroom spends the whole of that night 
at the young men’s dormitory and does not visit his wife. 
On the third day, the bride and bridegroom are not allowed 
to see each other, the bride remaining in the bridegroom’s 
house and the latter at the house of a friend. That day the 
bridegroom selects three stones to form the fireplace, and 
makes two or four wooden spoons. These he sends to his 
house by a messenger, who gives the spoons into the hands 
of the bride, and leaves the stones in the house. That night 
again the bridegroom sleeps in the young men’s dormitory 
and does not visit his bride. Next morning the bridegroom 
returns to his own house, when the bride makes a fireplace 
of the three stones sent the previous day by the bridegroom. 
She then cooks food for the bridegroom and herself in new 
utensils, and they eat the food together. That day the 
bride must remain in the house and do no work, but the 
bridegroom may work if he Ukes. That night they sleep 
together. On the following day in the early morning, 
the bride and bridegroom go to the fields together, and do a 
little nominal work, and then drink the dzu and eat the food 
which they have brought with them. They each bring 
back one small piece of firewood with them, which they 
bum that day. This concludes the actual marriage cere- 




monies. A few days after this, the bride goes to her father’s 
house and brings from there two * khalsis ’ of dzu and 100 
pieces of pigs’ flesh. The bridegroom then first entertains 
his father-in-law with the dzu and flesh so brought, and 
then feasts his own friends. As among the Angamis, it is 
customary for the bride’s friends to bring flesh and dzu to 
the house of the newly-married couple during the next 
succeeding Salegni (Angami Sekrengu or Chitegni (Angami 
Terhengi) genna. In the morning the newly married couple 
go to the bride’s father’s house, and return from thence, the 
bridegroom carrying a piece of flesh, and the bride a ‘ khalsi ’ 
of dzu, followed by the bride’s friends with their offerings. 
It is customary for the bridegroom’s friends to bring kod£dis 
to the feast, which they present to the bride’s friends, who 
have contributed the food and drink. When the first child 
is bom, the wife takes it to her father’s house, where all her 
relatives present her each with a fowl, a cock if the child is a 
boy, and a hen if the child is a girl. These fowls are taken 
back and are kept shut up till they are by degrees killed and 
eaten, it being considered most unlucky if one should 
escape. The above ceremonies are those observed in the 
case of persons previously unmarried. No part of the 
ceremony is more essential or binding than another, all 
being necessary to constitute a marriage between persons 
not previously married. If a man takes a second wife, 
without divorcing the first wife, the full ceremonies are 
observed, if the girl has been previously unmarried. Widows 
may marry, but they must obtain the permission of their 
late husband’s heirs before doing so, else they lose their 
property brought as dowry. A widow can marry her 
husband’s younger brother, but is not compelled to do so. 
She cannot marry her husband’s elder brother. In the case 
of the remarriage of a widow, the ceremonies for the first 
day are the same, but the bride and bridegroom sleep together 
that night, and next day the new fireplace is constructed. 
The couple go to the fields on the following day for nominal 
work. It is not the custom for the presents of food and 
drink to be made by the bride’s father and relatives after 
the marriage. 

“ Divorce is allowed and is common. Incompatibility of 
temperament is the chief reason. There is no ceremony. A 
woman, however, cannot leave her husband until more 
^ I think Major Kennedy is possibly wrong in saying that the Saleni 
and Sekrengi gennas correspond, but it is always difficult to be certain. 
Vide supra Tsungi genna and also Sekrengi genna. 




than five days after the marriage have elapsed. If she 
does so her husband can keep all her property. Otherwise 
the woman takes her property away with her, unless she 
is unfaithful or makes arrangements to marry another man, 
while under her husband’s roof, in which cases she forfeits 
the property brought as dowry. Infidelity on the part of 
the man is not a ground for divorce, but if a man arranges 
to marry another woman, before divorcing his wife, the 
latter is entitled to a cow and a dhuli of dhan as compen- 
sation. When a man ^vishes to take a second wife without 
having divorced his first wife, he must first obtain the 
latter’s permission. Divorced persons can marry, the 
ceremony being the same as that for the widowed persons,” 

By some Naga tribes the work of burying the dead seems Death 
to be regarded with a certain amount of repulsion, but the 
Angamis do not, like some others, relegate this function to 
a particular individual in each village. The office is usually 
performed by the deceased’s male relatives. In the case 
of seshoma, however, only old men take part in the burial 
{vide infra). 

The first office performed after death is the washing of 
the corpse by a child of the same sex as the deceased, while 
the latter’s most intimate friend, by no means necessarily 
a man of the same clan, brings flesh, rice, and rice beer to 
the dead man’s house. After the washing the dead man 
is laid out upon the bed and covered from the eyebrows to 
the feet with his own cloth. His ceremonial dress is piled 
about him, and above his head a “ kang ” (carrying basket) 
is placed containing seeds for wet rice, Job’s tears, millet, 
and every other kind of grain and eatable, together with a 
lao of ‘‘ zu ” and the dead man’s own cup. A share also 
of the flesh, rice, and “ 21^ ” brought by his best friend is 
put into this kang,” while the remainder is given to the 
living occupants of the house, who may on that day eat 
nothing provided from their own household. Next day 
the young men of the deceased’s kindred bring cattle, 
including those of the dead man, or some of them, if he had 
any. The Zhevo or Pitsii, as the case may be, makes a 
wound in each beast, after which it is killed by the young 
men, who, after setting aside the heads, livers, and certain 





other portions, divide the flesh as they believe the deceased 
would have done had he been alive ; that is to say, large 
portions are given to those with whom he was specially 
intimate, and who during his lifetime received much from 
him, and vice versa. In Khonoma, men of the Thevoma or 
Semoma clans consider it obligatory to eat up any share 
they may receive within two days, provided they are of the 
same clan as the dead man, though if of a different clan 
they may keep it as long as they like. All this time the 
family of the dead man maintain a doleful howling. The 
young men of the kindred make the coffin, which is of wood 
and lidless. When it is ready the deceased's father-in-law, 
if he have one, if not a friend from another clan, or usually 
from another clan, enters the house of the dead man and 
stands on the left-hand side of the body. He then places 
a spear at the right of the corpse if a man's, a black cloth 
if it is a woman who has died. He also cuts off a lock of 
hair from the head of the corpse. Then the coffin is brought 
inside and a little thatching grass burnt inside it, after 
which the body is laid in the coffin. The grave is dug during 
the day, either in front of the house or alongside one of the 
village paths, and the corpse, covered with a cloth and lying 
in the coffin, is placed in the grave at dusk. With the body 
in the coffin are buried a fire-stick (“ segdml "), one or two 
spears, a dao, and a young chicken alive, and the bitter 
seed called “ gadzosl " (it is used for killing leeches) is 
placed between the teeth. The object of the gadzosi is 
that the soul ^ eating it when he meets with the 
spirit Metsimo, who guards the path to paradise. When 
Metsimo sees the dead man eating gadzosi he lets him pass 
by, but if the dead man has no gadzosi in his mouth, Metsimo 
makes him eat a monster nit from his (Metsimo’s) head.^ 
If gadzosi or a leaf of the plant is not obtainable, any leaf 
will do, but it must be spoken of as ""gadzosi"' In the 
case of a woman, a few beads are buried with her, her cloths 

^ Someone has reported of Angamis that they make wounds in the 
bodies of dead warriors so that they shall go to the next world as though 
killed in battle by an honourable death, but I have never met with the 

1 To face p. 22G. 

An Anoami Grave {m(kni). (The grave of Zelucha, interpreter of Jotsoma) 

\To fact p* 227 




and a new under-petticoat and a reaping hook, with the 
chicken and the gadzoai as in the case of males. Then the 
coffin is covered with flat stones, and on to the stones that 
cover the lower half of the corpse the contents of the “ kang 
mentioned above are poured. Then the earth is heaped in 
and the grave levelled, to the accompaniment, in the case 
of males, of the firing of many guns, and to the howUng and 
shrieking of the women, who beat upon the ground with 
their cloths, having tried to hold back the coffin as it was 
lowered into the grave. Mr. McCabe quotes in one of his 
diaries the cry raised at the disappearance of the coflftn : — 

“ Do not be afraid, do not mourn. You have only followed 
your parent’s custom. Although you have died, let us 
remain happy. Although Grod has not been kind to you, and 
you have died, fear not f ” 

On the next day the kindred of the deceased with someone 
from another clan come together at the deceased’s house and 
eat of the meat previously set aside, except the livers. 
Ceremonial dress is worn and the men shout and leap by 
the grave, challenging the spirit that has carried off the 
dead man, asking him where he has hidden, and bidding 
him come that they may spear him and kill him.^ They 
then put up the skulls of the slaughtered cattle over the 
grave together with the shield, ornaments, clothes, weapons, 
eating and drinking utensils, and other such personal 
possessions of the dead man, a gourd of zu, and the empty 
flasks which contained the powder fired on the previous day. 
On a woman’s grave a little basket is placed, containing 
her spinning and weaving utensils, and a diamond-shaped 
frame on which different coloured threads are stretched. 
They also build up over the grave a stone tomb. In the 
case of the Chakrima villages, a wooden effigy almost of life- 
size dressed in the ceremonial dress of the dead is set up 
over the tomb, which is by most Tengima merely hung with 
the cloths, skuUs, etc., while in Viswema large white cloths 
stretched upon bamboo frames are erected high up off the 

^ See Butler, “ Travels in Assam,** p. 150, and compare Owen, “ Notes 
on the Naga Tribes in Communication with Assam,** p. 24. Owen’s notes 
refer to Kony&k tribes. 

*Q 2 




ground to advertise the death of rich men cut off in the 
prime of youth. Food is then again taken at the house 
of the dead man, the livers of the cattle killed being cooked 
by members of a different clan. When cooked, a piece of 
liver with salt and chillies is given to each member of the 
deceased’s family, who, without speaking, throw their 
pieces outside the house some yards away. After this 
everyone goes back to his own house. 

On the second day after the burying seventeen portions 
of cooked rice with a little salt are tied up in plantain leaves. 
These are buried outside the house on the fourth day. On 
the fifth deceased’s platter and drinking cup are suspended 
by a string inside the house, the string being undone and 
thrown away after thirty days, when the cup and platter 
are given to one of deceased’s intimate friends ; about ten 
days later the deceased’s family kill a cock and divide the 
flesh equally and eat it, the funeral ceremonies being then 

This does not always entirely complete the ceremony. 
Sometime between the Tsungi and Terhengi gennas of the 
year in which the death occurs, or of one of the first two or 
three years following, one or two pigs are killed and the 
tomb built up with more solidity than at first. This 
additional ceremony is not essential, but if at any time the 
tomb breaks a pig must be killed and repairs executed ; but 
this can only be done between the Tsungi and Terhengi 
gennas,^ and it is only between these gennas that a grave 
may be removed (graves are occasionally removed for the 
sake of convenience to a different site), or that a man’s 
bones may be brought from another village for interment, 
as is done when a man dies away from home. The grave 
of a Kemovo is particularly sacred, and is only disturbed 
with extreme reluctance, at any rate in the case of the 
original founder of a village. There is no particular 
orientation of the dead, but if two persons are buried 

^ This rule is stated more precisely as foUows : — 

Graves may only be repaired or moved : (1) between the end of the 
millet harvest and the beginning of the rice harvest ; (2) between the end 
of the rice harvest and the sowing of the millet ; t.e. between the reaping 
and sowing of the millet crop, except whilst the rice harvest is in progress. 




at the same time and place they are given the same 

In the case of persons killed in war, or whose bodies are 
for some similar reason not recoverable, a wooden image is 
made of the wood called “ hetho ” and, if obtainable, a 
piece of the deceased’s hair affixed to the head. This is 
substituted for the real coipse and the ceremonies performed 
as usual. , 

Persons killed by wild animals, or dying in childbirth, 
and suicides are not allowed to be buried within the precincts 
of the village, but the rites are the same subject to the 
proviso that the flesh of the cattle killed at the funeral 
and the beads worn by the dead may be taken only by the 
old man who buries the body, and may not be sold in the 
village, while the flesh is henna to all yoimg men. Such a 
death is called “ seaho and the victim of it ‘‘ seshoma,^* 
Death by a fall from or by the fall of a tree is regarded as 
akin to sesho^ but though some extra ceremony is performed, 
the ordinary ceremonies are not affected as in the case of a 
genuine seshoma. Suicide, it may be noted, is not common. 
The writer has only heard of three cases among the Angamis.* 
One of these was the result of debt. A man of the Semoma 
clan of Khonoma, being heavily in debt, bequeathed his 
terraced fields to his sister, dined unusually well, and went 
off saying that he was going to work on the railway. Next 
day he shot himself. He is said to have made himself more 

* Soe Appendix. Some villages lay the feet towards the east. 

^ The word commonly used in the lingua franca of the district is apotia 
( < Assamese accidental or causing misfortune). 

^ 1 have also known of one case among the Aos, a man who tried to 
spear himself, according to his own account, at the dictation of an evil 
spirit, but this man seemed to be more or less demented ; and of one 
case of a Kacha Naga who hanged himself in the jungle, under the impres- 
sion that he had killed a man, though in point of fact the man was only 
severely wounded and recovered. I have heard of other Nagas hanging 
themselves, and suicides by Lhotas are more frequent. 1 knew of one 
who speared himself after committing a murder, and of several cases of 
persons taking poison. , The Lhotas know of the bitter root of a creeper 
which can be mixed with liquor. This is drunk in some quantity and 
intoxication ensues, followed by death while in that state. Lovers who 
for some reason cannot marry each other not infrequently make use of 
this way out of their troubles. 






or less drunk before he actually did the deed. The second 
case was that of a man of Chephama who committed 
suicide by poisoning himself with the herb ‘‘ hwethV The 
third was in Viswema, where a man hanged himself in June 
1 91 8. Mourning is observed by the deceased’s near relatives 
not wearing ceremonial dress should a genna involving its 
use occur shortly after the death. 

Gennas which confer social status among the Angamis 
form, as it were, a series of steps, each one more costly than 
the preceding one. It does not seem to be obligatory upon 
anyone to perform these gennas, but in point of fact they 
are usually performed by anyone who can afford them, and 
in the case of the first three may be and are repeated at 
any time. These first three, in fact, form a sort of pre- 
liminary series to which comparatively small importance 
is attached. Three of them are mentioned, since this is 
the number in Khonoma, but it probably varies a good 
deal, and the names given in different villages likewise. 

The Kreghaghi is performed by anyone who reaps a 
harvest more than usually plentiful, or who obtains from 
his fields a hundred or more loads of paddy. It is not 
performed once only, but whenever occasion occurs. It 
merely entails the killing of a cow and the feasting of friends 
on the flesh, a portion being set aside for the Zhevo. The 
performer of the Kreghaghi is entitled to brush his hair 
straight down behind instead of tying it into a knot. 

The Kinoghe consists in the sacrifice of a cow, shares of 
which are given to all the members of the clan, house by 
house, and to personal friends outside the clan. 

The Pichiprek consists merely in feeding four Zhevos, 
who bless the votary. 

Anyone who has once performed each of these prelimi- 
naries may proceed to the performance of the four great social 
gennas. These are usually performed at the same time 
as either the Terhengi or the Sekrengi gennas, the practice 
varying in different villages, as do the names of the gennas 
performed. The names given here are the Khonoma 
names, the Kohima names being given in brackets. The 




standard of sacrifices is the Kohima standard, which is 
given here because the Khonoma standard cannot be givm 
completely, for in Khonoma Lesn and Ketseshe^ gennas 
cannot now be performed, as the necessary details have 
been forgotten as a result of the expulsion of the village 
from their site on more than one occasion owing to differences 
of policy between the village and Government. The gennas 
in question are as follows : — 

Thesa (Chesa ). — Two dhulis ” ^ of paddy, four bulls, and 
two pigs suffice for this. Ceremonial dress is not worn. 
The performer of Thesa may put some thatching grass in 
split bamboos and put up one on each side of the front of 
his house as a sign that he has performed the genna, and 
may also fence in part of his porch. Before proceeding to 
the next genna, Thesa must be performed at least twice, 
and may be performed thrice. 

Zhatho {Zhache)^ is performed, by those who have com- 
pleted Thesa, with three dhulis of paddy, eight bulls, and 
four pigs. Ceremonial dress is worn while pounding the 
paddy. As a sign of the celebration of this ceremony two 
planks are placed as barge-boards {Jiisi) on the front gable of 
the house and the cloth called Zhavakwe is assumed. This 
genna must be performed twice before proceeding to Lesii. 

Lishe or Lesii (Lichil) is performed with six dhulis of paddy, 
ten bulls, and five pigs. This is the minimum, but the 
genna need only be performed once. Ceremonial dress is 
worn while pounding the paddy, and while dragging through 

^ A stone -pulling genna is done in Khonoma by sons who inherit their 
parents’ houses, but this is not the genuine Ketseshe. 

* The dhuli is the Angami Chu, the large basket for storing grain 
mentioned in Part II. The measure is roughly as follows : — 

12 Zharha [a small basket holding about a seer (2 lbs.) of rice. (Zha ~ 
day > daily wage)] = 1 Utsa, 

2 Utsa — 1 Zhazhd, 

2 Zhazhd 1 B4 (about a maund). 

One “ Chu'^ contains from 15 to 20 maunds ; a load is about 60 lbs. 
1 “ maund ” = 82f lbs. 

• I think that this is the genna also callod by the Angamis Temoza, the 
corresponding Memi genna being Mozii, performers of which (among the 
Memi) may not eat game for a year. A man under such a prohibition 
who killa game gives a feast at his house to the old men of the village, 
who, while present at his house, may drink from leaves only, not from cups. 




the village two wooden figures named with the names of 
the husband and wife performing the genna. The performer 
of this genna is entitled to replace the plain barge-boards 
of the performer of 2niatho by barge-boards crossing at the 
point of the gable and elongated into a pair of great horns 
which are usually pierced with one or more large round 
holes, said to be made for the purpose of lessening the danger 
of destruction by wind. These are called Kika (= “ house- 
horns ”), and the man who has done the genna Kilcakepfiima 
{“ house-horn-bearer ”). He and his wife are prohibited 
from eating fowls, a prohibition which among the Memi 
extends not only to the KiJcaJcepfiirm and his wife, but also 
to any of their children living in the house both during their 
occupation and after their death. This prohibition, how- 
ever, is sometimes evaded by the children, who may eat 
chickens provided they cook at a different hearth and wash 
their mouths after eating. 

Ketseshe (Chisii), i.e. stone-pulling,’’ is performed by 
those who have done Lesii. Eight dhulis of paddy, twelve 
bulls, and eight pigs are required. Ceremonial dress is 
worn for pounding paddy and for the pulling in from the 
jungle of a large stone {chimi == ‘‘ stone-pulling ”) which 
is set up to commemorate the genna in some conspicuous 
place. This stone-pulling is performed by all the young 
men of the clan, or of the whole village, of the person 
performing the genna. In Memi and Tengima, and nowa- 
days in most Chakrima villages, it is usual to pull and set up 
two stones, one for the man and a smaller one for his wife. 

The stone, which often has to be dragged from a long 
distance, is levered on to a sort of sledge made from the 
fork of a tree, to which it is lashed with canes and creepers. 
Rollers are placed in the path of the sledge, which is pulled 
up to the village by sometimes several hundreds of men 
hauling at long ropes of cane and creepers, with singing and 
dancing.^ A hole is dug for the foot of the stone, which is 

^ The Lhotas have an alternative method in which a huge wooden 
framework is made and the stone lashed to the middle of it, when the 
carriers lift it and carry it by the surrounding framework, which is made 
of tree-stems lashed together like gigantic trellis-work, and admits of men 
carrying together to the number of six or more abreast and twelve or more 

\To face p. 

Memorial stone (Jakhama) Mi^morial stones and sled on which they 





tilted into it from the sledge. The earth is fiBed in and 
beaten down round the foot of the stone, on the top of which 
some leaves are placed and some liquor poured, the feast 
following the ceremony. Stone-pulling is practised by the 
Lhotas and Rengmas as well as by the Angami tribes, and 
is believed by some Sernas to have been originally practised 
by them as well, though they have forgotten the details of 
the ceremony accompanying it and no longer practise it. 

On the other hand, it is not practised by the Aos and the 
tribes more nearly related to them (see Appendix). It 
is the monoliths pulled at this genna and set up in or near 
the village to commemorate the giver and the giving of the 
feast which are such a noticeable feature of the Angami 
country.^ Monoliths are also erected in some cases to 
perpetuate the memory of the dead,^ but the genna stones 
just mentioned are not cenotaphs, and the Chisii genna 
with stone-pulling may be performed as often as a man has 
means to do so. A man who has performed the Chisii 
genna once may, in the Kohima group, call himself Kemovo 
and roof his house with wooden shingles instead of thatch. 
Among the Memi, however, the Chisii (called “ Shoih ” by 
them) entitles to “ Idka ” only, and not to shingles. 

In all the above ceremonies the paddy is used to make 
rice beer, being pounded by the kindred and friends of the 
performer of the genna, the cattle are slaughtered, and the 
meat and drink are used to feed the community. The 
occasion is made one of general festivity, and sports of 
various sorts are indulged in by the young men. The 
performer of the genna may not cut his hair for thirty days 
after it is finished, and is never allowed to make pofcs. 

Of the miscellaneous gennas performed by individuals Getmas 
upon various occasions, the majority are not unnaturally 
aimed at the prevention or termination of illness. This 
gives rise to frequent rites, rites which vary from place to 
place and from time to time, and are probably often invented 
by the Zhevo for the particular circumstances which call 
for some genna. The Ndsdtsd consists in the sacrifice of a 

^ Cf. Col. Qiirdon, “ The Khasis,” p. 149 (second edition). 

* E.g. in Khonoma by the son inheriting his parents’ hoiise-site. They 
are erected in or near the village, not as a grave-stone* but as a monument. 




small cock to cure a child’s peevishness ; the Terho-rogi, 
to take another instance, is performed for a man who is 
very weak from illness. A chicken with big strong feathers 
is selected, and together with the bark of the tree tsdmho, 
ginger and salt, is taken by the Zhevo outside the village 
on to the village path. The Zhevo then says, ‘‘ Whatever 
the cause of the illness, whether defilement contracted from 
women or other cause, it must go with the life of the fowl.” 
He then kills the fowl by piercing its neck with a sharpened 
bamboo, watching the fall of the drops of blood and the 
crossing of its legs for omens. The Kirupfezhe again is a 
specific for the stomach-ache. Any man as a substitute 
for the sick man takes an egg and divides it into eight 
sections by marking it with a burnt stick. ^ He then takes 
the egg and throws it down on the village path outside the 
gates, where nearly all such gennas are performed, and in 
throwing away the egg throws all the illness away likewise 
This, however, cannot be done by the sick man himself. 
The Derochil ^ is performed in the case of any illness or by 
reason of being talked about, either for good or for ill. A 
pig is killed and two chaste unmarried boys, one a Pezoma 
and the other a Pepfiima, are sent into the jungle to bring 
a bit of tree, to make a wooden hearth, some firewood, and 
some wormwood. They make a new fireplace and make 
fire with a fire-stick, the Pezoma boy being the first to work 
the stick. If he fails to get fire the owner of the house 
works it. The pig is beaten to death with sticks (this is 
the ordinary way of killing pigs and is most expeditious), 
the first blow being given by the Pezoma boy. The pig is 
singed on the fire until its hair and outer skin are singed off. 
It is then washed and cut up, the Pezoma boy giving the 
first cut. A piece of the liver is then cooked (boiled) with 
ginger, chillies, and salt in an earthen pot. Before the 
cooking, a small piece each of the flesh is given as usual 
to the Kemovo, Zhevo, Tsakro, and Lidepfii, and also to 
the “ morung ” and the tehvha, being taken by the two boys, 
while the tongue, nose, ears, tail, and feet are cut off and 
placed by the village path. After his wife has cooked the 

* Thus : • * CaUed Thevo-noro^ ip Jotsonoa. 




piece of the liver, the owner of the house severs oflE two 
little pieces of it with his nails and throws them away. 
He then makes a cup of leaves and puts zu into it 
and drinks it, and gives his wife to drink and his family 
likewise in order of age. He first eats a bit of the flesh, 
and then the others as they have drunk. He puts the meat 
in his mouth while he has the zu still in it. 

Before this no one may eat or drink ; afterwards they 
may do as they like. The two boys eat with the household 
and observe the same henna. None of them may speak to 
any new arrival in the village or anyone who has left and 
returned to the village that day. 

In the evening the two boys are allowed to go, after which 
the family may not eat or drink till cock-crow next morning. 
The door is shut and they do not go out except to ease 

The two boys each get one leg, the Kepezoma a hind-leg 
and the Kepepfiima a fore-leg (or half each of the meat 
unconsumed at the end of the day), and a pot of zu each, 
in their own pots. The family must consume the whole of 
the flesh (except the legs given away) on the genna day. 

The piece given to the ‘‘ morung ’’ is placed in the cane 
binding of the Kitache (the middle front post) inside the 
“ morung ’’ house and the tehuba piece is thrown on the 
sitting-out place and no one eats these. 

When the Zhevo gets his share he says “ Kevi u cheto ** 
("‘ It shall be well *'), and on departing the Pezoma boy 
says “ Keche kenia che he heniatowe. Keshe keje che te showe. 
Che hemesa waiewe.^^ (“ Sickness is forbidden — ^Death must 
not occur — ^It is all clean.”) 

For a man who is ill, or who has had an unusually heavy 
sleep, a chicken’s head is cut off with a dao in the middle 
of the village path by someone who usually helps to bury the 
dead, while for pains in the heart and chest a live chicken 
(usually quite a small one) is impaled on a stake in the 
middle of the path. In case of lasting illness, a man digs 
in a dry place for water until he finds it. He fences it 
over, kills an unblemished cock, washes it and cooks it in 
this water, and when eating it also drinks of this water. 






A typical prevention genna is that by which immunity 
from stings is secured by persons taking bees* nests. From 
the day on which the expedition after bees* nests is arranged, 
the men who are going must abstain from sexual intercourse. 
On the actual morning of taking the nests they are kmnob 
and may not speak. They make a charm of the casts of 
earth-worms and bits of the plant rma and throw them 
behind them. In absolute silence they go and make the 
ladders and take the comb. Under such circumstaiices, 
they do not get stung by the bees, though any mistake leads 
to fearful stinging. ^ The bees* nests taken in this way are 
those of a large black rock bee, which stings very badly. 

In Khonoma it is said that no genna for producing rain 
is known, and no one who knows Khonoma will be surprised, 
as it could never conceivably be needed. There is, however, 
a genna for stopping rain which has results out of all pro- 
portion to its simplicity, if indeed the full rite is revealed, 
which is perhaps unlikely. All that is said to be necessary 
is for a man who has had no children to take a dish of water 
and evaporate it out of doors by boiling it. When dry, he 
must say ‘'Let the days be like this,** and no rain 
will fall for seven years, a result which ought to be quite 
enough to prevent this genna *s ever being performed. In 
Kohima village a genna called the “ TiJcopmna *’ is observed 
if there should be a drought. It lasts one day and the whole 
village is perum and barred to strangers. * In case of shortage 
of rain in the spring, rain can be obtained by a genna called 
“ TAcga,” which is performed only by a dozen or so families 
called Kiruse Priitsii of the Rutsanoma putsa of the 
Puchatsuma clan, though it was formerly also performed by 
the Belhonoma putsa of the Chetonoma clan. When the 

^ Srisalhu of Khonoma, who described this genna to me, says that he 
has often taken bees’ nests after doing it without being stimg at all. The 
probable explanation is that persons believing in the genna gain absolute 
confidence and hence are able to go about the business with slow, steady, 
deliberate movements, which, I understand, are far less likely to irritate 
bees than the nervous and hasty movements of persons afraid of being 
stung. The eftect of contact with an tmchaste person as enhancing the 
severity of a woxmd has been noted in Part II under “ Medicines, etc.” 

^ The Memi also obtain rain by observing a strict penna for the whole 




village wants rain, they have to ask the members of this 
puUa, who, when asked, have to perform the necessary 
genna (it must be asked for in case of drought), which is 
done as follows : — 

A relation of any man of the putsa who has died since the 
last rainy season goes to the village spring in the early 
morning without speaking to anyone. He takes a very 
small quantity of water in a new gourd and goes to the grave 
of the dead man, where he pours it out into a leaf of the 
chiese plant, sajdng, fi apvuy Kidzii apfu, a ngumezhedi 
mhidzu-tu a de siiche^'' which being interpreted is, “ Sky, 
my father. Earth, my mother, show mercy on me and let 
your tears fall for me.” Having said this, he wiU drop 
water twice from the leaf on to the grave. From that time 
he is henna for five days, being unable to speak to anyone 
and obliged to remain day and night upon his bed. He 
may not set foot to earth, and if it is necessary for him to 
get down he must tie two bits of wood or bark to the soles 
of his feet to prevent their touching the ground and on 
going outside the house must cover his head with a winnow- 
ing fan. He may drink zu^ but must not touch any other 
food during those five days. 

This rain-making genna is said to have had the following 
origin. There was a man of the Puchatsuma clan of Kohima 
called Kerutsa. This man went to a king in the plains 
and asked for a Bakechilguo^ a charm which would enable 
him to get food without doing any work, (lit. a “ Sit-and-eat 
charm ”). The king told him that he was a lazy fellow not 
fit to live, and gave him some obscene gifts and a cow 
buffalo. After some highly improper behaviour ^ he died, 
and his death was followed by a drought and consequent 
famine both in the plains and the hills. Eventually the 
king sent a messenger to the hills to say that a hillman 
bad died in the plains, where there was a famine because 
the corpse had not been taken away. Meanwhile, owing 
to the loss of Kerutsa’s body, no rain had fallen in the hiUs 
and cultivation in Kohima was suspended. The Kohima 

^ Primum bubalam futuit. Deinde, bubala ob fututionem illam mortu&, 
ad libidinem satiandam mentuld. harenam pertundebat. Sic obiit. 




people consulted a themuma^ in a Kezama village, who told 
them the reason of the drought, and further that it would 
not rain that year unless they went to look for the corpse 
of Kerutsa. Accordingly they determined to go and to 
look for it and agreed that whichever clan did not go to 
help in the search should be called “ Solhima,^* i.e, “ alien.” 
In the end the six clans Bosuma, Puchatsuma, Dapfetsuma, 
Chetonoma, Hurutsuma, and Hrepvoma went to fetch the 
body, but the Cherama clan refused, and so was called 
Solhima by the other six clans. ^ The six clans went down 
to the plains and brought back the bones of Kerutsa, and 
as soon as they reached the Dziidza (Zubza) river, which is 
the boundary of Kohima land, they saw a little cloud in the 
sky, and before they reached the village it started raining 
heavily. When they arrived at Kohima village they all 
washed their hands and cooked food at their hearths and 
ate it, but the Belhonoma putsa of Chetonoma and the 
Rutsanoma ptUsa of Puchatsuma built new fireplaces and 
cooked their food on them before eating, and therefore it is 
that when rain is wanted the village insists on one of these 
putsa doing the genna described, provided someone of the 
putsa has died during the year. The Belhonoma putsa 
of Chetonoma has evaded liability to the performance of 
this genna by a trick. The heirs of a dead man of Belhonoma 
gave all his utensils to the deceased’s sister, who was married 
to a man of the Chalenoma kindred of the Mekhuma clan 
of Kigwema, and told her to do genna for five days. They 
performed no gennas themselves and thus evaded future 
responsibility for the rain genna, which is now performed by 
the Chalenoma kindred of the Mekhuma clan of Kigwema. 
The genna is also said to be performed in the Chakrima 
village of Theniazuma and in some of the Kezama villages. 
Of the personal gennas, that for taking a head (called 
Sha ” in Kohima) is one of the most interesting. The 
successful warrior on returning to his village waits outside 
' the gate. There any one of his family may bring him food, 

^ For themuma ” vide infra — “ Magic and Witchcraft.” 

‘ Cherama were, of course, separate in any case. They came from a 
different village {vide supra). All Pepfuma clans seem to be called 
“ Solhima ” by the Chakrima. 




while he awaits any who may come to pierce the flesh of the 
slain enemy. After that he enters the village escorted by 
the men of his clan singing and shouting, and goes first to 
the “ Kipmhie,'’ the genna stone, of each clan in the village, 
and deposits at the foot of it the flesh of his enemy or 
enemies, shouting, “ Wo, ho .... vm! '' for each man killed. 
Then he goes to his own house and deposits the head, limbs, 
or whatever flesh he has brought in front of the house, and 
his wife goes to make zumho. This is prepared by steeping 
rice in water, pounding it, mixing it with water in a gourd, 
and adding a double quantity of yeast. His wife pours 
this zumho on to the head or flesh, saying, “ Let the enemy 
be lazy and sleepy ; kill them and let me do this again ! 
Then each successful warrior (if there be more than one) 
takes the usual omens from the sliced chieae plant and the 
crossed legs of strangled fowls, and kills a pig, the meat of 
which must be consumed that evening. Before eating or 
drinking, however, he must have washed both his hands 
and his mouth and have thrown away not only the water 
used in so doing, but also all the water to be found in his 
house at the time. 

Early the next morning the warrior goes to the spring 
with spear and shield and bathes. On his return he must 
taste the leaf of the plant gatsei and some rice beer, after 
which he can eat of food cooked by women. The women 
then go out and catch the small fish called khiwruho, which 
is cooked and eaten that night. For the next five days it 
is henna to go to any other village, both for the warrior and 
for all who have pierced the fiesh of his victim, while the 
whole village is gmna for one day. 

The foregoing genna is that observed by the Khonoma 
group. There are certain differences in the observances of 
the Kohima group which are worth recording. The 
successful warrior after he has entered the village goes to 
the Kipuchie of the clan only, where he places the flesh of 

^ The Serna puts the plant aghu (used for yeast) on to the head of the 
man or animal and walks six times round it, calling on the whole tribe 
of the dead to turn silly and come and get killed. This aghu is also burnt 
at peace -makings. 




his foe and the spoils of victory, shouting, “ Ao, huo , . . whi ! 
for each enemy killed. After going to his house, the zumho 
is not poured on to the head by his wife, but by the man 
himself. His wife or any female relative brings the gourd 
of zumho and pours it out, the warrior receiving it in a cup 
of the plantain leaf called pfenuonyii and pouring it on to 
his enemy’s head, saying, ‘‘ Let my enemy be lazy and sleepy, 
and let creepers make him fall, and let me kill him with my 
spears and dao.” That night he will take omens from the 
legs of a chicken, and the next day a pig is killed in some 
older warrior’s house, and eaten there, both warriors 
remaining indoors. On this day the veteran puts a feather 
of the red bird called sokrosohto on the younger warrior’s 
head and “ blesses ” him with the words : “ Your mother, 
and your father’s-yoxmger-brothers and yOur father’s-sisters 
and your father’s-elder-brothers allow you to wear (this 
feather) ; wear and be most fortunate ! That evening 
the flesh of the enemy is buried outside the gates of the 
village, the head being buried face downwards.^ Strictly 
speaking this genna should be done twice before the warrior 
can assume the hornbill’s feather, after which he may wear 
a feather for every man he kills. 

lunting. The genna performed for success in hunting is most notice- 
ably similar to that performed for the killing of an enemy. 
The hunter must eat outside the village, for after he enters 
and goes to his house he can take zu only. When he reaches 
his home he deposits the head of the animal inside the door 
and his wife or some other woman brings zu in a gourd and 
pours it into a pfenuonyii cup held by the huntsman, who 
pours the liquor over the animal’s head with the words 
“ That magical animal has been killed, let me kill more.” 
Then a piece each of the flesh of the animal is given to the 
Kemovo, Zhevo, Tsakro, and Lidepfu, and the remainder is 

' “ N*pfUf fCnima chiu rCnye fCdima rChu pfunushe ; pfiidi kevi-u 
tsiUecheJ*^ I have given the translation as given to me by an intelligent 
Angami, but would point out that ’mma might equally well mean 
** mother’s-sisters’ -husbands,” whOe I have never oome across *dima in 
any connection but this. {Vide supra. Part III, “Terms of Relation- 

* I am inclined to think that some of the Eastern Angamis put the skull 
in a tree. 




cooked by the hunter’s kindred in front of his house and « 

eaten by them. The hunter himself keeps only the skull, 
though after he has killed a hundred and fifty animals he 
too may eat of the flesh. 

The use of the term magic here is not intended to suggest MmIc 
any very clear distinction in the Angami mind between the 
magical and religious rites. There are, however, practices craft, 
directed against persons with intent to work them harm to 
which the term may perhaps be not inaptly applied. Magic 
in this sense may be prstctised by the community in certain 
cases. The observation of penna or kenwi by the village 
may cause the death of a person named as its subject. 

This has already been made clear, and one or two instances 
mentioned of gennas kept by the village which were held 
to affect individuals. One of these was a case of inverted 
cause and effect. In the case of the Sachema women who 
had mud thrown at them in Jotsoma, it was because 
Sachema followed this mud-larking by observing the genna 
for the loss of a head or heads that the lives of the two 
women were endangered. In the other case mentioned, 
that of the Nerhema man who sacrificed a black cat, 
the village actually observed a day’s pev/m with the hope 
and intention of making his illness worse. There is, however, 
a procedure more effective than the mere holding of a 
penna alone. On the day of penna a sort of Commination 
Service may be held to . curse some unfortunate who has 
given offence. The Kemovo gets up before the assembled 
clan, all the children being present, and announces that 
So-and-so has done such-and-such a deed, whereon the 
people answer “ Sa, Sa.^* ‘‘ Let him die, let him die ! ” 

This curse is believed to be a powerful one, and to strengthen 
it still further a branch of green leaves is put up to represent 
the person cursed, and everyone hurls spears of wood or 
bamboo at the bough with such expressions as “ Let him 
die,” ‘‘Kill So-and-so,” and every sort of abuse. The 
spears are left where they lie, the bough withers, and the 
subject of the curse dies likewise. This performance is 
also held to be effective even when the name of the culprit 
is unknown, and the writer has known it resorted to in a 



case where a man of Cheswezuma was thought to have died 
as a result of poison administered by someone unknown. 
So too a ceremony of this sort sometimes spoken of as The 
Cat Oenna is observed among Chakrima in cases of theft 
where the thief is unknown : 

The owner of the stolen property assembles his kindred 
before the morning meal and taking a cat, or kitten, ties 
up its legs and mouth and impales it on a bamboo stake 
which he plants in the ground outside the village gate beside 
the path. He then goes with his kindred to the tehuba 
and curses the thief that he may suffer as the cat suffers. 
The kindred confirm the curse, shouting “Ho ! ho ! 

In a case of this genna performed at Kekrima by a man who 
kept suffering thefts of com and fowls the curse took the 
following form : — 

“ A lha regurr teyopono chize keche kerri titotve (“ May 
the thief of my paddy perish to-night To which the 
kindred made answer “ HoooooJ' “ A vo regurr teyopoim 
. . . etc. (“ May the thief of my fowl,” etc.). To which 
the kindred made answer as before, the curse being repeated 
with “ Ho, ho-ing ” for each theft. 

The practice of this sort of magic by individuals does not 
vary in principle from that resorted to by communities. 
To spear a wooden effigy, or an old gourd painted like a 
face, and then to do a genna for having taken So-and-so’s 
head has the effect of causing the death of the person 
named, and it is open to anyone to practise witchcraft on 
this wise, as also to cause illness or loss or even death by 
the world- wide device of a wooden or clay figure into which 
thorns or bamboo spikes are stuck. There are, however, 
forms of divination and witchcraft demanding more 
specialised knowledge, the people who practise them being 
private practitioners and not public functionaries. They 
are known as Thernurm,^ There is, for instance, a particular 
species of pebble, difficult to obtain, which, if merely thrown 

^ Themuma are persons who are recognised more or less on the 
strength of their own assertions as possessed by a god (Terhoma), They 
are not in any sense appointed by their fellow villagers. Their powers 
vary from merely dreaming dreams to the practice of genuine black magic. 
The Themuma is often able to divine only when in a trance or some such 
non -normal condition. 




at a man whon he is not looking, brings illness upon him. 
Nor is it necessary that the stone should strike him. It is 
enough to throw it in his direction. The Sernas attribute 
a like power to the berry of a certain tree which need only 
be concealed in a person’s clothes to poison him.^ A 
knowledge also of poisons that can be given in food or drink 
is regarded as an attribute of witches, but it does not seem 
to be much practised by Angamis. A knowledge of poisons 
is commonest, perhaps, in the Chakroma group, though 
probably rare there, and the use of them is more often 
attributed to women than to men. Legerdemain, also 
regarded by the Angamis as a form of magic, seems to be 
rare among Angamis, but men who practise it are said to 
exist.2 Still rarer are the ‘‘ Zhnmma,'* or invulnerables, 
*who cannot be harmed by spear or bullet. One such is 
believed to have fought against Grovernment at the time 
of the Manipuri rising. Less rare perhaps were the 
KiJmpfurm, men or women born unlucky and gifted with 
occult powers causing illness and misfortune to men and 
animals not only voluntarily but also involuntarily by virtue 
of an evil influence emanating from them at the waning 
of the moon. Lycanthropy is believed in but not practised 
by the Angamis, though their neighbours and perhaps 
near relatives the Sernas are inveterate lycanthropists. 

Like all Nagas, the Angamis believe in some village 
away to the East peopled solely by lycanthippists, but they 
also believe in the existence of a spring ® sometimes said to 
be of blood, from which whoso drinks becomes a were-tiger 
or were-leopard. The people of that neighbourhood are 
said to know and shun this spring, but the danger to 
strangers is believed to be great. No personal transforma- 
tion takes place in the drinker, but the soul of him becomes 
bound up with the body of some particular tiger into which 

' Sernas do not do this themselves, but accuse the Eastern Angamis of 
doing it to Serna guests and strangers who may happen to pass through 
their villages. 

* I have known of several such persons in other tribes. If consulted 
as to an illness or hurt they will reply that there is a stone or a tooth or 
some such thing in the body of the sufferer and then proceed to extract it. 
See the Serna Monograph under thumomi, 

* CJ, S. Baring Gould, “ The Book of Were -wolves,** p 146. 

B 2 

244 the ANGAMI NAGAS part 

it enters from time to time, and when the tiger dies the 
man dies also. Such a tiger is spoken of as mavi and has 
five toes (a tiger with dew-claws might be said to have five 
toes and I have seen a leopard with dew-claws identified 
by Bengmas as a were-leopard). When children are 
peevish and keep crying the people of that country dip a 
blade of thatching grass into the spring and give it to the 
child to suck. It stops his wailings but he grows up a 
tiger-man. This spring is believed by some Angamis to be 
found in the Serna country. The projection of the man’s 
soul into the tiger is particularly liable to occur between 
the expiry of the old and the rising of the new moon, 
ina- The Zhumma and Kihupfuma belong to the past, but of 
seers and dreamers there are still many to take omens and 
reveal the unknown by divination and dreams. Omens 
that may be seen or heard by anyone and of which there is 
a recognised interpretation are legion. The short rainbow 
is regarded as a sign of death by fighting or by fire or on a 
journey, probably within the month in which the rainbow 
is seen. The song of the bird Koshotiatm foretells famine, 
and there are several birds whose call is lucky if it comes 
from the left, but unlucky from the right. Major Butler ^ 
mentions that the crossing of the path by a deer was a most 
unlucky omen for an expedition and relates that he has 
known a large war-party turn back immediately in conse- 
quence ; he also says that the call of a tiger from behind is 
regarded as unlucky, while it is very lucky if heard from the 
front. An eclipse of the sun or moon is believed to have 
been formerly quite enough to turn an expedition back from 
the war-path, though later, at the time of the British occu- 
pation, an eclipse was regarded as an omen of success. 
Such omens as these are necessarily fortuitous, but omens 
of many sorts may be taken on various occasions.* Major 

^ Op, dt,, p. 166. 

* One Angami form of divination is said to have existed, and possibly 
is still attempted but is apparently obsolete, in which after keeping some 
sort of genna the diviner thrust his hand out through the wall of his house. 
If, when drawn in, blood was found in it, the omen is one of unnatural 
death (aeaho), if grain, then of riches, if dew, poverty. My informant, 
however, ootdd not say in what manner the genna used to be kept, nor 
could he tell me of any case in which it had been resorted to. 




Butler notes that the measure of success likely to attend 
a raid may be learnt from the flight of a cock) which if 
strong and far is auspicious. Fire and the fire-stick, as 
already described, are used at the Sekrengi genna, while 
omens taken from the position of the legs of a strangled 
fowl are used on the same and other occasions, the omen 
being favourable if the right leg crosses above the left. 
The taking of omens by the slicing of the chieae plant and 
watching the fall of the slices is the commonest form of all 
and may be seen every^ day in the Angami country. This 
method is used in hunting, warfare, in choosing the name of 
an infant, and on every kind of occasion. The writer has 
been told by Dr. Rivenburg of Kohima that he has seen a 
whole village turn back from an expedition owing to the 
inauspicious fall of the slices, but his own experience is 
that very little faith is put in this method of getting omens.^ 
The writer has often seen them taken at the start of a 
hunting expedition, but never heard anyone propose giving 
up the expedition for a bad omen of this sort, an event which 
the sanguine Angami usually accepts with the very true 
statement that no faith can be placed in them at all. When, 
however, the omens are taken by someone with a particular 
reputation for getting true results, probably more reliance 
is placed on them, and enough belief is placed in some seers 
for men to resort to them to find out the whereabouts of 
stolen property or the name of the thief. In these oases 
divination by looking into a bowl of zu or other liquid is 
sometimes resorted to, but the divination of theft is 
nowadays in bad odour, as the seer is apt to get punished 
by authority for fixing guilt on innocent persons. Palmistry 
of some sort or other is known to the Angamis, though it 
is not often practised. 

There are also women who answer questions from trances. 
They are called Terhope (= ** god’s bridge ”) and they go 
into a trance occasionally (particularly in the house of a 

^ I f€uicy the villc^e that turned back from their expedition for the 
reason given were never very enthusiastic in the first place, and were rather 
pleased to get an excuse for substituting some less risky amusement — 

Fugaoissimi ideoque tarn diu superstites.” 


man who has just died), falling down suddenly. From the 
trance they answer questions asked them, though they 
remember nothing on their return to consciousness. Before 
she can answer any question, however, it is necessary to 
force open the Terhope’s mouth and put into it new zu and 
yeast. The trance usually lasts about half an hour to an 
hour, and as in the case of lycanthropists in the Serna tribe, 
the body aches severely on its return to consciousness. A 
Terhope in Jotsoma called Whelalhuwii, who was questioned 
when in a trance (December 1914) as to the cause of illness 
in the village, answered that the old Naga bridge over the 
Dziidza (Zubza) river should be rebuilt. This would have 
entailed a bridge almost alongside the existing bridge on 
the Government cart road.^ 

But of all forms of second sight dreaming is the favourite 
and the best. The Angamis have almost a science of 
dreaming, and it is practised in particular by old women, 
who take fees for dreaming. One pice is the usual fee, and 
in return for this the woman foretells the result of a hunting 
expedition, a trading venture, or whatever it be that her 
client proposes to do. These dream- women have most 
repute for their prophecies in the case of hunting, but every 
huntsman is also his own dreamer, and their dreamings, as 
far as the writer’s experience goes, have a curious way of 
coming true. After nightmares or unusually bad dreams, 
offerings consisting of the feathers and part of the intestines 
of a fowl are placed outside the village gate on a plantain 
leaf, the dreamer, who stays Jcenna that day, eating the 
remainder of the fowl. Nightmares are believed to be 
caused by the visit of the wraith of a sleeping friend which 

1 There is a well-known dream -woman named lA>beni in the Lhota village 
of Phiro. She told Captain Porter, of the 17th Infantiy, that he would 
not kill the proclaimed elephant he heid gone out to look for in the ten 
days of his leave, but would get it if he stayed on two days longer. Captain 
Porter got the elephant, but was unable to get back to Kohima by the 
expiry of the allotted ten days and actually reached it two days late. 
My own experiences with Lobeni were less successful, but then I sent out 
to consult her from Kohima, and, although provided with the pocket 
handkerchief she asked for, she complained that she could not reach me in 
her dream, but was turned back every time she tried as soon as she got to 
the old ride range near Kohima. 




is stronger than that of the dreamer. A story is told of 
a man who kept having bad nightmares, and so took to 
sleeping with his “ dao ’’ under his pillow. When the 
nightmare came he tried to kill it with his ‘‘ dao,’* and, 
getting up to pursue it, saw a butterfly fly into his friend’s 
house. The next morning this friend told some neighbours 
that he had been horribly frightened in the night by dreaming 
that a man had tried to kill him with a “ dao.” 

It is believed that to dream of flying or of falling down is 
an indication of the growth of the body during sleep. To 
dream of being bitten by a tick, which cannot be pulled out, 
is an omen of approaching death, while to dream of a man 
dressed entirely in new clothes is a sure premonition of the 
death of the man thus seen. A curious instance of this 
came within the writer’s own experience. He left Kohima 
for a tour in the Kezama villages on September 8, 1913. 
At the moment of leaving, his own interpreter, Zelucha of 
Jotsoma, came up to say that he was not feeling very well 
and would prefer to join later after two or three days, so 
another interpreter, Vise of Viswema, was taken in his 
place. Mao was reached on the 10th, Kezakenoma on the 
11th, Bazama on the 13th. At Bazama Zelucha was 
expected to arrive, but another interpreter, Solhu of 
Kezakenoma, came instead, saying that Zelucha was ill. 
On hearing this Vise remarked that he knew it already, and 
that Zelucha was going to die. When asked how he could 
possibly say this, as Zelucha had been quite well a few days 
before and had not been really ill when Vise last saw him, 
Vise said that he had dreamt of him on the night of sleeping 
at Mao, and had seen him dressed entirely in new clothes. 
This, he said, left no doubt. The news of Zelucha’s death 
reached camp at Tekhubama on September 16. ^ 

^ I have a very vivid recollection of the details of this incident, which 
occurred just as has been recorded. I noted the dream and its inter* 
pretation in my tour diary (now in the Deputy Commissioner’s office in 
Kohima) when it was mentioned to me, and before Zelucha’s death had 
actually occurred. He died, I think, on the 14 th. He had been of great 
assistance in collecting the information given in this monograph and the 
loss was a personal one. 







To enumerate the various superstitions of the Angamis Supersti- 
would fill a book in itself, even interpreting the word super- 
stition in what is perhaps the narrowest sense in which we 
can use it, that is to say, as designating the detached beliefs 
regarding natural objects and trivial actions encountered in 
ordinary life which do not form an obvious part of any system 
of belief and have not on the face of them any reasonable 
explanation, as designating, for instance, such a practice 
as that of ‘ ‘ touching wood ’ ' among ourselves . The Angamis ' 
belief that whoever approaches the foot of the rainbow will 
die is explained by them by the statement that the spirit 
of the rainbow will kill the rash person, but no reason at all 
is given for the belief that it is dangerous to plant cactus 
hedges because they cause storms of wind, or for the belief 
that a man’s stomach aches when someone at a distance is 
molesting his property. These are typical superstitions. 

More picturesque is the belief that marriages should not bo 
made in the month in which the swallows come, for girls 
married in that month will not stay with their husbands, 
but will run away back to their parents’ houses. New 
superstitions, or old superstitions in new forms, seem easily 
assimilated. There is a belief in many Angami villages 
th$,t it is dangerous to be photographed, as if the photograph 
be taken to the plains the person photographed will gradually 
decline and die, while in some villages it is practically 
impossible to photograph young girls, as they regard the 
camera as some diabolical contrivance for revealing their 
pudenda. One interesting belief is that in the unluckiness 



of the number seven. No party of seven persons will ever 
leave the village together for any purpose, even to cut 
jungle, as something unfortunate, such as the death of 
one of their number, is certain to happen to a party of seven. 
If seven men were to go trading together at le’ast one- 
seventh part of the capital taken would be lost.^ The 
belief in the power for evil of praise or blame and protection 
by kethithedi has been already described.* Angami super- 
stitions, however, are legion. 

Some of the prophecies current among Angamis are 
worth mentioning. There is a belief in Khonoma and other 
Angami villages in the return of a king who will drive out 
the British and rule over ‘‘all who eat from the wooden 
platter,” i.e., all Nagas. This king is believed to be sleeping, 
as Barbarossa sleeps, in a cave in the Kacha Naga country. 
He may be identified with the Kachari king Bhim Baja, 
of whom such a story is told, and it is probable that this 
Naga prophecy is of Kacha Naga or Kachari origin. Another 
prophecy is that of ChiiaenUy “ Armageddon,” when everyone 
will fight and men will become so small that they can climb 
up chilli plants and their ears will grow the wrong way on 
and wooden pestles (for pounding paddy) will put forth 
leaves ; at that time the dead will rise and the stored grain 
wiU fly in the air and men will run about to catch it for their 
food, and every family in the tribe, indeed in the whole hill 
country, will have a dispute. It is suggested sometimes 
that this prophecy was fulfilled when Khonoma was taken 
by the British troops, as wooden pestles are believed to 
have put forth leaves at that time. The belief that “ men 
will become so small that they can climb up chilli plants ” 
is interesting, because the Khasis not only have the same 
belief, but state it in precisely the same words. With regard 
to the folklore stories that follow, it should be said that 

^ This belief may perhaps be connected with the Pleiades, of which the 
Angami see seven, who are said to have been seven men who went out 
to dig bamboo rats but got ambuscaded and killed. 

^ See under Agricultural Implements, and also House Building. The 
writer had an Irish wolf-hound of exceptional size which attracted a great 
deal of attention from Nagas. When it died of distemper its death was 
ascribed by Nagas of all tribes to the number of conversations and remarks 
of which it had been the subject. 




they have been collected mostly through the medium df 
interpreters in the bastard Assamese which forms the 
lingwi franca of the hills, and not directly in the Angami 
language. Many of them have been told on the march and 
round the camp fire as the result of some chance question, 
of the associations of the locality, or of some incident of the 
day. They have been arranged in three groups, which, 
even if there is no very clear line of demarcation, will perhaps 
serve to distinguish roughly the different classes of stories. 
First of all come such traditions as have a more or less 
historical complexion — ^stories of village feuds like that of 
Kohima and Puchama abeady recounted, in which the 
supernatural plays little or no part, and which, subject to a 
somewhat liberal discount for exaggeration, we may well 
believe to be true. The legends which follow the traditions 
are stories of the early history of villages or of the race in 
which the supernatural figures largely — stories like those 
already given in Part I of the founding of Sohemi, or of 
the dispersion of the tribes at the Kezakenoma stone. 
Finally, the stories classed as ‘‘ Contes ” are those which seem 
to be told, not for the explanation of any custom or the 
handing down of any record, but simply and solely for the 
sake of the story itself. Here are fairy tales, animal stories, 
and cynical observations of human foibles. The Angami 
is an omnivorous collector and retailer of stories, and some 
of those included under Contes ” undoubtedly contain a 
foreign element, and one at least seems to be of foreign 
origin. It is not impossible that some future collector of 
Angami folklore will find Angami versions of the stories 
from “ Uncle Remus,” with the leopard as “ Brer Fox ” 
and the barking deer as ‘‘ Brer Rabbit,” on which the writer 
has sometimes relied for his own contribution to an evening’s 

The folklore is followed by a few typical songs ^ in Angami 

^ I am, tmlortunately, no musician, and cannot give the notation of the 
singing, but one or two of the songs have been recorded on the phonograph 
and the records sent to the Pitt Bivers Museum at Oxford. These are 
poor iUustrations of the real thing, as it has been possible only to get the 
effect of one or two voices on the instrument, whereas it is of the essence 
of most Angami singing that there should usually be a number of voices of 
difiEering qualities singing together. 




and English taken quite at random. Like almost all Angami 
songs, they are nearly sentimental enough to suit an English 

Mezoma and Themokedima 

Themokedima was at war with Cherema (Natsimi) and 
asked aid of Mezoma, promising to pay annual tribute. 
Mezoma took five heads oB Cherema and were ^ paid five cows, 
and Themokedima refused to pay any more. Consequently 
Mezoma called Nerhema and Tofima to their aid and raided 
the Themokedima fields, killing a large number of women 
and children, about 150. Then when Themokedima got 
news of Mezoma’s coming a second time they ambuscaded 
them and took them in the rear. Mezoma were accompanied 
by Nerhema, Chichama, and Tofima, about 700 or 800 in all, 
of whom about 60 were killed. The next year Mezoma was ^ 
cut up by the British Government for raiding a Kachari 

Khonoma and Maram 

At Khonoma there is a place called “ Viyakiricha,” i.e., 

the place of the dream-stone.’’ After taking omens on 
chickens, men, if the omens are favourable, go and sleep 
there, and, if the dream is good, they send word and are 
fetched back by the village. ^ Now the men of Marhema 
(Maram) got to hear of this custom, and, sending messages 
to the men of Khonoma to come to the dream-stone to fetch 
some one or other, took many heads. A man of Khonoma, 
therefore, known as Phuyi, led a raid on Maram and took 

1 Words ending in ma are plural or collective nouns indicating the 
men of such and such a village (ra) ; thus Mezoma = the men of Mezo ; 
Mezora = the village Mezo. It is, however, customary among foreigners 
in the Naga Hills to use the form in ma to indicate the actual village as 
well as the men who live in it, so that one may be excused for using some- 
times a plural and sometimes a singular verb with the name of a village. 

‘ Folklore (vol. xxv ; p. 85) compares the practice of dreaming on the 
stone to that of sleeping {iyKolfoiins) at Greek shrines, referring to 
Sir J. Frasser, PausaniaSf 1898, vol. ii, 476 iii, 243, also to J. C. Lawson, 
“ Modem Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Beligion," 1910, p. 61. 




many heads, and made moreover a song upon Maram» But 
the men of Maram made as though they were not angry, 
and said the song was a pretty song. KJbionoma then 
went upon a second raid, crossing over Japvo to Maram, 
but on Japvo much snow fell and the men of Khonoma 
became numbed. Some men who heard the shouting 
and calling of the Khonoma men in this condition went 
and gave the news in Maram, who came up and cut up 140 
men ; only fifteen (including Phuyi himself and one Viya) 
got away, for Khonoma^ could not use their spears for 
numbness. One Shetzu was taken prisoner and ransomed 
himself by promising a mithan yearly as tribute, and this 
tribute was paid for two years. The first year Khonoma 
sent a good mithan, the next year a little one, which Maram 
at first refused to accept, but Khonoma said they could 
have that or nothing, so Maram merely replied that they 
would not have peace with Khonoma if a proper mithan 
was not paid the next year. But the third year, instead of 
giving the mithan to Maram, Khonoma gave it to Jotsoma, 
and these two villages, joining forces, went up against 
Maram and took many heads. And again a second time 
20 or 30 men from the two villages went up and got two 
heads from Maram, but the 15 men in the rear lost their 
way in the cane jungle on the way home and could not 
find their way back. After 50 days the only four men who 
survived starvation got back to Khonoma on the point of 
death, and two of them ate heavily and died, but Chasamo 
of Khonoma and Navuno of Jotsoma, eating very little, 
were saved by their cunning. And after this Khonoma, 
realising that fate was against them in the matter, left 
Maram alone.^ 

A Naga Judith 

Akhaji of the Marhema (Maram) village killed a man of 
the Samuma village who had a sister named Inyapfiikuvura. 
When she heard that Akhaji had taken her brother’s head, 

^ The Mar&m version is that their MohvO put a spell on Khonoma, 
causing the snow to fidl and the men to be numbed. 


Inyapfiikovtira prepared much food, and wrapping it in a 
cloth went to Akhaji’s house. She told Akhaji that she had 
brought food for him, and asked him whether he would eat 
first and then enjoy her, or vice versa, Akhaji said he would 
eat first, and, having eaten, he fastened the door and took 
Inyapfiikovura to his bed. But Inyapfukovura had a dao 
concealed in her petticoat, and when Akhaji was expecting 
it least, she cut his throat, and having cut his head com- 
pletely off, she hid it in her petticoat and took it home. 

On the way she met Akhaji’s father and mother, and they 
said, “ Have you seen Akhaji to-day ? ’’ And she said, 
“ I gave him to eat.” And they said, “ Where is that 
blood dripping from, and what is it ? It has dripped all 
along the path behind you.” But she said, ‘‘ I am much 
ashamed, but what can I say ? I let Akhaji lie with me and 
I am defiled.” So they let her pass by. And when she 
reached her own village, she put the head down outside the 
village gates, for it is tabu for a woman to carry a head 
through the gate. So she went in and fetched her elder 
brother and told him, but he would not believe. You are 
a woman,” said he, ** how could you take Akhaji^s head ? 
You are lying to me.” And when she asseverated, he replied 
thus many times. But at last, weary of her importunity, 
he went out with her, and she showed him the head and he 
knew that her words were true, and taking up the head he 
carried it into the village in triumph. 



The following account is given of the origin of Kohima 
village : — 

There are seven clans in Kohima — ^Rosuma, Hxepfiima, 
Dapfiitsuma, Cherama, Hurutsuma, Puchatsuma, and 
Chotonoma. All these clans bear the names of men who 
were their ancestors. Rosuma, Hrepfuma, Dapfiitsuma, 
and Cherama came from Sopvoma in the Memi country. 
Rosu first selected a site at Kohima and went back to 




Sopvoma and fetched the other three clans. The man 
Puchatsu was at Chimokedima (Samaguting). Bosuma 
and Dapfiitsuma went and fetched him to Kohima. Hurutsu 
came himself from the direction of the Kacha Naga country. 
While Hurutsu was cutting trees in his “ jhum ” he heard a 
voice come like an echo from a hollow tree : “ O-lo ! ho ! ” 
He went to the tree and found a man. At first the man 
could not understand what Hurutsu said, but after staying 
with Hurutsu for a long time he learned to understand his 
(Hurutsu’s) language. Hurutsu called him “ Lezechu,** 
i.6., “ jungle-cutting generation,” and from him is descended 
the Lezechunoma putaa of the Hurutsuma clan. The 
Chotonoma are descended from a bastard child of a man of 
the Semoma clan of ELhonoma. A girl of that clan fell in 
love with one of her fellow clansmen and became pregnant. 
Overcome by shame, she ran away to Kohima and lived 
in Bosu’s house. One day Rosu saw blood on the girPs 
calves and said to her, ‘‘ What is the matter with you ? ” 
She answered that she had been out because she had 
diarrhoea. Then Rosu went to the spot and found a child 
crying there. He put the child under his cloth and brought 
it back. On the way someone said to him, “ What are you 
carrying under your cloth ? ” and Rosu replied that he was 
carrying a cucumber. For this reason the child was given 
the name “ Chiito,” i.e., “ cucumber.” When the child 
grew up Rosu gave him a sow and other goods, and chose a 
house-site for him where the Chotonoma clan now live. 
One day Hurutsu stole his sow. Chiito came and told Rosu 
about it, and said that the thief was eating the flesh in the 
jungle and coming back at night. Then Rosu and Chiito 
went out together and lay near the path, one above it and 
the other below it, and they tied their toes together with a 
string so that they would wake up when the thief tripped 
against the cord. Then they went to sleep. Later the thief 
came by and stepped on the string, and both the men woke 
up and seized him, and were going to kill him ; but the 
thief, who was Hurutsu, requested them not to kill him but 
to take compensation, so Rosu ordered him to give seven 
sows to Chiito, and he gave them. So the rule is followed 





to this day that if anyone steal anything he is mulcted in 
seven times its value. 

N.B. — ^Another and possibly less legendary account of the 
origin of the Kohima clans says that Cherama came straight 
from Kezakenoma to Kohima, while the other six clans, 
which are grouped together as Pferonuma and said to have 
been originally six putsa of one clan, came from Kigwema, 
where they had settled first after leaving Kezakenoma. 
Kezakenoma, to which all Angami villages trace their 
origin, is only a few miles from Sopvoma. The Lezechunoma 
putsa is also otherwise derived from a man who ran away 
from Jotsoma, a descent which only in 1913 gave rise to a 
claim to a large area of jhum land. The claim was, moreover, 
successfully established. 

Marriage between Cherama and Rosuma is not allowed. 
The reason given for this is that the founder of the Cherama 
clan married Rosu’s sister. This reason is unique, and so 
contrary to all the Angami theory and practice of exogamous 
marriage that one cannot help thinking that it is a purely 
fictitious reason. The otherwise invariable reason given 
for prohibition of marriage between two clans or kindred is 
that they are descended from brothers, and it is possible 
that the reason given for the prohibition on marriage 
between Cherama and Rosuma is an attempt to explain a 
prohibition, the real reason of which was unknown, in a 
case when genealogy and traditions excluded the “ two 
brothers ” explanation. 


Now Kezabama was founded by a man and his family 
who went along from Kezakenoma way with a cock, a dog, 
and a mithan, waiting for them to give a sign. Although 
they reached suitable places for a village the cock would not 
crow, nor the dog bark, nor the mithan bellow. But at 
last, just below Swemi village, the cock crowed, the dog 
barked, and the mithan bellowed, so they asked the people 
of Swemi, who were, as they are to this day, Sernas, for 
land. And they gave it to them. 




Swemi was then a very big village of 700 houses and the 
fields stretched so far that women with children could not 
get to work in the fields. So to avoid having children the 
men did with the women as Onan did unto Tamar.^ 


Therocheswema was not always on its present site. 
When it was on the old site one day a barking deer ran into 
the house of the Kemovq. And from that day onward the 
men of Therocheswema became as ogres, eating double the 
amount of rice eaten by ordinary men. So the village was 
threatened with starvation. 

At last the people removed to the present site of the 
village, after which they reverted to their human condition. 


The Yasa road is only two feet wide, and is very high, and 
they say that one day an old woman stole a basket of rice 
from another village and a tiger killed a bullock on the other 
side, and the two — ^the tiger with the bullock and the old 
woman with the rice — met in the middle of this road, and 
both were so frightened that the tiger dropped the bullock 
and jumped right over the old woman to get away, while the 
old woman threw down the rice and ran for her own village. 

The Universe 

The sun is as large as a field. He is rnale^ and the moon 
is female. The sun only comes out by day because he is 
afraid to go about at night. When he does come he is so 
ashamed of his cowardice that he flashes up and comes out 
like lightning. Originally when he did not come man went 
and called him, but he came not. Then the bull went and 
called him, but he came not. Then the pig and after him 
the dog went and called the sun, but stiU he did not come. 

^ Book of Oonesis, ch. 38. 

* This is not the normal Angami version which makes the aim female 
and the moon male. Probably the inversion of the sex in this account 
is due to the teUer*s having been sophisticated in a school. 

8 2 

26 o 



Even when the fowls called him he would not listen. So the 
cook said, “ Oh, very well, I will come and look for you, 
and if anything touches me I shall crow, and you will have 
to come.*' Since then the sun has always come when the 
cock crows for him. The cook also told the sun he was not 
to go away, but he said he was afraid of the dark, so the 
cock said he would tell and he did so. 

In the moon there are nettles and a cotton tree. like 
the sun, he moves about while the earth is still. 

The sky is really smaller than the earth. In the beginning 
the sky said to the earth, “ You are so big, I cannot cover 
you, wrinkle up your feet.” So the earth wrinkled to let 
the sky cover it, and that is why there are hills and valleys 
in the earth while the sky is smooth. But even by wrinkling, 
all the earth could not get covered, and one place got left 
outside. This place is called Whedzura. There is no sky 
in Whedzura, and so they never see the sun there, but they 
have a stick which is very precious by which they tell the 
time, and the light there is like a sort of moonshine. The air 
in Whedzura is very strong and so people get old very 
quickly. They marry off their children one year and 
cannot even recognise them the next. If a man would go 
there he must start when he is bom, it is so far, otherwise 
must he die of age before he reach there, growing old upon 
the road. 

The Naoa and the Plainsman 

Ukepenopfii was the ancestress of all men. Her 
husband^ had a big moustache and a long beard reaching 
to his feet,^ and he was very wise. If his children had seen 
him they would have been frightened and have run away 
without learning his wisdom, so he lived hidden in a vessel 
waiting till his two sons should grow up. But one day some 
people asked the boys whether they had ever seen their 
father, and they said, “ No, we have no father.” Then 

^ Apparently this personage is sometimes identified with the spirit 
Metsimo (Memicd Pekujikhe) who gucu'ds the way to the land of the dead. 

* See f^pecimen of the Memi Icmguage in Part VI. The beard is a 
distinotive feature as it is very rare among Nagas. See also Appendix IX» 
para. xxix. 




they answered, ‘‘ Yes, you have. He has a long beard and 
hides himself in a big wooden vessel. Go and say to your 
mother that unless she shows him to you you will kill her.’’ 
Now Ukepenopfii could not deny the existence of the 
boys’ father, so she said to them, “ Very well, I will show 
you your father, but he who gets frightened cannot get his 
father’s knowledge and wisdom.” And the boys agreed. 
Then she took them to the vessel and showed them their 
father. And the elder ,boy, who became the ancestor of 
Nagas, got very frightened and ran away, but he who later 
begat the Indians (Teprima) wished to go to his father in 
the vessel. Then the father came out and took up this 
son to his bosom and said to his wife, “ I had thought to 
teach both my sons all my wisdom, but now my elder son 
has run away. If I stay here he will not return. My wife, 
take care of him and he shall take your name with him.” 
Then the old man went to the plains with the younger boy, 
and that is the reason why the Nagas are poorer in knowledge 
and cunning than the men of the plains. 

Another version of the origin of the Naga and the 
Plainsman tells how two brothers each took a different 
path, but while one blazed his path on all the chomhu trees 
the other blazed his on chemu trees. Now the blaze on a 
chomhu tree remains white for several days, but that on a 
chemu tree turns black very quickly. Consequently most 
of the followers of these two brothers followed the first 
and emerged into the plains, while the few who followed the 
second stayed in the hills. This story is also told by the 


Now the Angamis tell this story, that man, the tiger, and 
the spirit were three brothers, the sons of one woman, and 
whereas the man tended his mother carefully, washing her 
and bathing her, the tiger was always grumbling about the 
house, snarling at anything and giving everyone trouble. 
The man ate his food cooked, the tiger ate his raw, and the 
spirit just had his smoke-dried. One day the mother, who 
was tired of the family squabbles, made a grass mark and 




set it up in the jungle, and told the man and the tiger to 
race for it, saying, “ Whoever touches it first shall go and 
live in villages, but the other must go and live in the dark 
jungles.’’ Then the spirit said to the man, ‘‘ I will shoot the 
mark over with an arrow when you call out, and then you 
can say you touched it first.” So when they had run a 
little way in the jungle the man called out, ‘‘ I have touched 
the mark,” and at the same time the spirit drew his bow and 
struck the mark with an arrow, so that it trembled, and the 
tiger coming up while it was still shaking was deceived, 
and went away, angry, into the jungle. 

After this the man sent the cat from the village to say to 
the tiger, “ After all, you are my brother ; when you kill a 
deer, please put a leg on the wall for me,” but the cat 
muddled the message and said, “ When you kill a deer put 
it on the wall for the man,” and the tiger, thinking that a 
whole deer was meant, was angry and hated the man. All 
the same they are brothers, and to this day, if a man kill a 
tiger, he will say in the village, ‘‘ The gods have killed a 
tiger in the jungle,” not I have killed it.” As if he did 
all other tigers would say, “ This man has killed his brother,” 
and would go about to devour him. But the tiger is afraid 
of man because he (the tiger) cannot carry stones, while he 
sees the man take up stones as great as a basket. Therefore, 
thinking that man is very strong, he is afraid.^ 

^ The Sernas have this story in an almost identical form, the 
Rengmas and Lhotas also. C/. also Appendix II, paras, xxix. and xxx. 
Among the Angamis, at any rate, old men, and nowadays young men 
too, eat tiger or leopard flesh, but a Serna will not touch it, as he looks 
on men and tigers as of one blood, and the Angami still has to cook it 
outside the house or in the porch and may not bring it near the women. 
When an Angami kills a tiger or a leopard the kemovo proclaims a penna 
“ for the death of an elder brother.” (Cf. the practices of the Mosd-droi 
clan of Kacharis and the Mashd-ardi clan of Meches, which go into mourn- 
ing for the death of a tiger. Endle, “ The Kacharis,” pp. 26 and 82.) 
At the same time the kiUer of the animal puts its head, with the mouth 
wedged open by a bit of stick, into running water, so that when it tries to 
tell the Tclchu-rho who killed it, all that can be heard is an inarticulate 
gurgling in the water. Changs do the same, while Sernas stu£E a stone 
into the dead beast’s mouth (to prevent its ghost from waylaying them 
in the next world) and wedge the mouth open with a stick as well. See 
also Appendix on the Memi. 




The Dotjblb-Skinkbd (and the Obigin of Cholbka) 

They tell also of a tribe of men whose skin is double ; 
these men were aforetime of the Naga race, but separated 
from them because of a quarrel they had over drying rice 
on the stone ^ whereon one load of rice set to dry in the 
morning becomes two loads by dusk. And after the quarrel 
the double-skinned tribe fled away to another place, and 
though men shoot them Ijhey die not, save they be shot when 
belching or loosing their bowels. And they say that two 
Angamis travelled by this country and were well and 
hospitably entreated, and when they would return to their 
own village the double-skinned gave them a pipe of hollow 
bamboo, telling them not to open it on the road, but when 
they should reach their home ; and they also offered them 
their double skin, but the travellers would take it not, lest 
there were some bad thing in it, and after that they had 
returned, they opened the bamboo, and the double-skinned 
had put Cholera therein, and it came forth and destroyed 
many men of that village. 


Now the Angamis tell this story : There is in a certain 
place a village of women only, and if a man go there they 
drive him away by shooting at him with war bows, and 
they raise not any males save one only, and when other 
male babes are born they boil water and put them therein 
to kill them. These women, moreover, do no hard work, 
but eat great store of starch and oil to make them strong to 

Others say that when a man go there, the women that 
be there be so eager for him that in striving to possess him 
they tear him to pieces utterly. 

— ^The Sernas place the Amazons in a village oast of the Patkoi- 
Barail range. 

Folklore refers to a large number of versions of this widespread 
myth, viz. : The Male and Female Islands described by Marco Polo 
(ed. Sir H. Yule, 1871, vol. ii, p. 2.37 57 .). 

^ J.e. the Kezakenoma stone (see Part I). 

264 the ANGAMI NAGAS part 

The Country of the Western Women described by Hiuen Tsiang (S. 
Beal, “ Buddhist Records of the Western World,*’ 1884, vol. ii* pp. 240 

The Tibetan kingdom of women, the existence of which has been asserted 
by E. T, Atkinson (“ Gazetteer of the Himalayan Districts,” 1884, vol. ii, 
p. 468) and by C. H. Sherring (“Western Tibet and the Borderland,” 
1906, p. 338). 

The Islands of Daughters of the Gods in the “ Jataka ” (Cambridge 
trans., I, 110). 

One of the villages in Mang Peng, Northern Shan States, Upper Burma, 
said to be at the present day inhabited exclusively by women (J. G. Scott, 
“ Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States,” 1901, Part II, vol. ii, 

p. 201). 

The island recorded on the west coast of Africa by the ancient geographer, 
Mela (III, 9). 

The tale of the “ City of Women ” recorded by Major A. J. N. Tremeame 
{Folklore, xxii, p. 60). 

The “ Voyage of Bran ” (Kuno Meyer’s trans., I. Nutt, 30). 

A tale of the Tami Islanders off the coa-jt of New Guinea (Neuhass, 
“ Deutsch New Guinea,” Berlin, 1911, vol. iii, p. 550). 

A Gazelle Peninsular tale (I. Eneier, “ My then imd Erzahlungen der 
Ktkstenbewohner der Gazelle-Halbinsel, Neu-Pommem,” Munster-i-W., 
1909, 85, 89). 

A tale of the Tonga Islanders (“Tonga,” Edinburgh, 1827, vol. ii, 

p. 116). 

Early accounts of Spanish discoveries in America, and the finding 
of Matinina or Madanino by Columbus (Arber, “ The First Three English 
Books on America,” Westminster, 1895, 30, 99, 189). 

It is probably with the Tibetan or Shan States version that the Angami 
account is most likely to be connected, and if the actual existence of these 
places is a fact the Naga accounts may be ultimately derived from some 
contact with such a village at some remote period in the history of the 


There was once a chief, a mighty man, who built him a 
strong house and digged a deep ditch thereabout, and put 
water therein to keep him from his enemies. But a stronger 
than he came. So the strong man fled to a little hill wherein 
he made him a hole to hide, and the door of that cave was 
strong and hard and none could open it except the owner 
willed it. Being yet a young man he led away Naga boys 
to that hole in the hillside by singing and making manifold 
music, and the parents of these boys sought them, but found 
them not again. 




With reference to this stoiy Folklore remarlcs : — “ This is the 
Koppenbterg of German tradition.” For the “ Pied Piper of Hamelin ” 
see Folklore, vol. iii, j). 227 sqq. ; F. L, Joum., vol. ii, p. 206 sqq, ; 
J. Grimm, “Household Tales,” 1884, vol. ii, p. 412. For the Indian 
version of the pipe which causes everyone to dance, see C. H. Tawney, 
“ Katha-Sarit-Sagara,” 1880, vol. i, pp. 338, 677 ; vol. ii, p. 309. A 
negro version is given by Miss Mary A, Owen, Journal American Folklore^ 
vol. xvi, p. 58. Also see Sir John Rhys’ learned discussion of Lucian’s 
account of Ogmios, the Gallic Hercules — “ Lectures on Celtic Heathen- 
dom,” Hibbert Lectures, 1888, p. 13 ftqq. 

Tower of Babel 

Ukepenopfii was the first being. Her descendants are 
very many. Instead of dying she was translated into 
heaven. Later on her descendants thought to communicate 
with her by building a tower up to heaven, up which they 
would go and talk to her. She, however, knowing their 
thoughts, said to herself, They will all expect presents and 
I have no presents for so many men. The tower must be 
stopped before it get any higher.” So she made all the men 
working at the tower to talk different languages, so that 
they could not understand one another, and when one said 
bring a stone, they would fetch water or a stick, and so forth, 
so that all was confusion, and the tower abandoned, and 
hence the different tongues of the various tribes of man. 

There was once a country under a powerful chief with 
great armies and the people thought they would mount up 
to heaven by building a ladder of wood. So they builded a 
stair, and made the stair very high into heaven. Now the 
men who were up at the top asked for more wood and the 
men who were below made answer, ‘‘ There is no wood, 
shall we cut a piece from the stair ? ” So the men at the 
top not understanding what they said gave answer, “ Ay, 
cut it.” So they cut it, and the ladder fell, and great was 
the fall thereof, and they that builded it were killed. 

Note, — Folklore in commenting on these two stories quotes one 
almost identical with the second from Sikhim Gazetteer of Sikhim,” 
Calcutta, 1894, p. 42) and a number of legends very similar to both stories 
from the Chin Hills, Mashonaland, Mexico, and the Chocktaw Indians of 




Chikeo’s Gift 

A man used to go every day to scare birds from the 
fields and he noticed that every day someone had been 
before him and had sharpened his dao on a stone, having 
wetted the stone. So one night he sat by the side of the 
river, and at dawn Chikeo came and began to sharpen his 
dao. He was wearing a rain-coat. The man seized Chikeo. 
Chikeo said, “ Don’t kill me and I will give you what you 
wish for.” He agreed to this, and Chikeo whistled, and all 
the animals came out of the forest and gathered together. 
Then Chikeo said, ‘‘ I will go up the hill. You may kill which 
animal you choose. When I get to the top of the hill I 
shall call and you will not then be able to have it.” Chikeo 
went up, and the man looked over the animals to see which 
was the best, and could not decide. Chikeo got to the 
top and whistled and all the animals ran away. A jungle 
cat got trodden on by one of the animals and was killed, so 
the man took that and ate it.^ 

The Fig-tree 

Once a man was travelling to another village and could 
not reach it that day. After it got dark he killed a ghost 
with his spear, and he slept that night under a great stone 
in the shelter of a fig-tree and ate its fruit, for he had 
nothing else to eat. And after he had laid down there came 
many ghosts with torches calling their friend who was 
killed, and they called out in a loud voice, “ Chu’o, Chu’o, 
Shen gatila ” (that is, in Angami, Keso’u jutiahe,” for the 
ghosts spake in Kacha Naga). And the great stone answered 
them back, ‘‘ Even if he have died (i,e. the man who killed 
him) he has not come to me to-day.” So the ghosts took 
up the dead body of their friend and went away. 

After this the man heard another tree call out to the 
fig-tree to come and do genna to heal him (for the tree was 

^ I am indebted to Mr. Barnes, Deputy Commissioner of the Kaga Hills^ 
for this story. Chikeo is the dwarf -like spirit, a sort of leprechaun, who 
presides over animals mentioned in Part IV as ** Tstikho."* 




sick), but the fig replied, ‘‘ I cannot come to-night to do 
genna for I have a guest/’ A few minutes later the tree 
that had called out fell down, and the fig-tree told the man 
that this tree had had fever for a long time and died that 

And the next morning the man got up and ate up the ripe 
fruit of the fig and was filled, and he went to the village 
and told them all that had happened, and therefore do our 
Angamis say that the fig is the chief priest of the trees. 

Battle of the Birds and Snakes 

Once upon a time the lizard and the smallest bird made a 
well. But whenever the lizard went to get water in his 
water-pot he dirtied the water, so the smallest bird said to 
the lizard, Don’t make the water dirty every time before 
I draw my pitcher full.” But the lizard would not listen. 
So the smallest bird asked him again the second time, and 
the lizard said, “ You go and call all your birds together and 
I will go and call all the reptiles together at the foot of that 
tree,” so they each called their people and the two sides 
fought. And the birds came down and carried off snakes, 
but they were afraid to catch the biggest snake. And the 
crow flew down to catch the snakes’ “ gennabura,” but as 
it was carrying it up it dropped it back into the middle of a 
stone, and the snakes began to increase. If that snake were 
taken the others would all die, but the crow had failed and 
the other birds were afraid. Then the smallest bird went 
and found the biggest bird and asked it to come and kill 
the biggest snake, which has a comb like a cock, and the 
big bird said, “ But there is no one to feed my young.” So 
the smallest bird said, ” I will feed your young.” Then the 
big bird went and flew high up in the air and stooped and 
dropped and killed the snake. 

Note, — Folklore suggests that this is possibly a reminiscence of 
the destruction of the snakes by the bird Garuda, the Garula of the Jdtaka, 
The Sernas, however, have a version of this story which is used to account 
for the colouring of different species of birds. I very much doubt the 
likelihood of any Hindu influence having started these stories, though 
conceivably the Hindu tale and the Naga tale might be ultimately derived 
from a common source. 





Once upon a time a girl went to work in the fields. On 
her way she met a snake in the path, and the snake would 
not let her pass until she said ‘‘ Do not bite me and I will 
marry you.’’ So at last she said it and the snake let her 
go. Afterwards he married her. Then the snake bit her 
in the breast and she got breast ornaments and he bit her 
in the leg and she got cane leggings. Another girl saw this 
and afterwards met a snake. So she said to the snake 
“ We will marry,” and she took it up and put it into her 
basket, but the snake said nothing. It bit her in the arm 
and her arm swelled up and she died. 

The Shrew-Mouse 

The shrew is the pig of the ‘‘ ierhoma,'' One day a man 
was fishing, but when he put his traps into the river nothing 
would go near them except a shrew, so he drove the shrew 
away, and soon he saw many fish come near, but the shrew 
drove away the fish. Then the fisherman killed the shrew, 
and many fish came to his trap and he lifted them out on 
to the bank and killed them and put in his trap again, and 
a second time came many fish, and again he took them out 
and killed them. And as it was too late for him to go home 
he slept under a large stone called Tsurnga on the river bank. 
And a terhoma came up the river and called out from the 
water to the stone Tsurnga and said, “ Did you see any bad 
man to-day ? ” And Tsurnga answered, “ No, why do you 
ask ? ” And the terhoma said, “ My pig has not come 
home to-night and probably some man has killed him.” 
So the man was very much afraid and fished in that place no 

They also say that a man married a woman of the terhoma^ 
and his wife took him to live in the sky and he had three 
sons by her, and one day he went out to hunt, and the 
terhoma with him said, A wild boar is attacking our 
brother-in-law,” and he looked down and saw a shrew- 
mouse and he killed the shrew-mouse, and that night all the 




terhoma came with their pots and their dishes to him and the 
man roasted the shrew for his sons and the terhoma to eat.^ 

The Moxtsb 

Men first found rice growing in the middle of a pool, and as 
the water was deep they could not get at the rice, so they 
sent the mouse to fetch the rice and the mouse fetched the 
rice. Then the man said to the mice, “ Come, take your 
share,” but the mice said, “ No, we cannot carry it as 
our heads are very small, please let us eat a little of your 
rice every day instead.” So the man promised to let the 
mice do so, and so the mice continue to eat the rice of men.* 

The Dog 

Now the dog had no hole to live in. So he went to the 
tiger to live with him, but when they went a-hunting the 
dog barked. But the tiger did not Uke this, so he would 
not have the dog with him, as he could not hunt with a 
barking dog. Then the dog went to the elephant, but the 
elephant said, “ If you bark the tiger will find us,” and sent 
him away. Then he went to the wild dog, and he and the 
wild dog hunted small animals together all day and ate 
them, but the wild dog hunts in silence and the dog barked 
much. Therefore the wild dog left the dog, and the dog 
went to the barking deer, but he wanted to devour the 
deer’s young and he barked too much withal, so the deer 
left him. And so, at last, the fifth time he went to man, 
and man taught him to hunt and found his barking useful, 
so he kept the dog and cherished him. 

The Wild Dog 

Now the Kacha Nagas say that formerly the man and the 
red dog lived together and the man sent out the red dog to 
hunt and kill for him, and when the red dog killed he brought 
his kill to the man. 

' The Sernas tell a similar story of the wild boar, which they, like the 
Lhotas, call the pig of the spirits — teghami (= Angami Urhorm), 

® See note on “ Thezukepu ” genua. 




But one day the man beat the red dog with a stick and 
sent him out to hunt, and when he got out of reach he called 
out to the man, If I kill I will not come back, but I will 
put a leg in the road for you.*' And the man answered, 
“ Don’t put a leg in the road but bring it to the house.” 
And the red dog called back, “ All right then, if we kill we 
will leave you some of the animal’s hair on the road in our 

And so when wild dog kill and eat, the animal’s hair may 
always be seen in their faeces on the path. This is the story 
the K^cha Nagas tell. 

N.B. — This story, though actually told by a Kacha Naga, is the one 
commonly told of the wild dog by the Angamis. 

The Bear 

The bear is a stupid animal. He builds a platform in a 
tree and goes to sleep on it. When it rains he wakes up 
and says, ‘‘ I must have made a mistake. This is not my 
house, as I built my house so well that the rain could not 
get through.” So he climbs down the tree, and when he 
gets to the bottom examines the tree and looks up. Then 
he says, “ This is very funny. It is my own house right 
enough. I had better go back.” So he climbs up and 
again goes to sleep on the top. When the rain starts again 
he gets wet and repeats exactly what he did before. 

This story is told likewise by the Sernas and Lhotas. 

Boiled Crab 

One day a little bird went to work at bis fields and she 
called her friends to help her, and the crab came among 
them. About midday the little bird called her friends 
from the field and they all came into the field house. When 
they had all collected, the little bird put a pot on the fire 
and she perched on the rim and laid an egg into the pot for 
each of her friends to eat. 

The next day they went to the crab’s fields to work and 
the crab brought nothing to eat, for he had seen what the 
little bird did and meant to imitate her. So at midday he 




went to the field house to cook the food, and he made the 
fire and put on the pot and he climbed on to the rim of the 
pot and tried to lay his egg, but while he was trying he 
fell backwards into the pot and could not get out again, 
so he cooked himself and thus died. 

Meanwhile the crab’s friends went on hoping that he 
would call them to eat, and as the afternoon wore on they 
got very hungry, and one of them came to the field house 
and then he saw the cooked crab in the pot. Then the 
friend went and told the others that the crab had died in 
the cooking pot, and the other friends came and took him 
out, and as they were feeling hungry they ate him. 

The Teavellinq Companions and the Gratbpitl 


Once upon a time a man called all his fellow villagers and 
went with them to hunt, and he had a gun and shot many 
animals and never missed and so hunted every day. But 
the other villagers, although they never killed anything 
themselves, would not give the huntsman his share. So 
one day, when he saw a big doe barking-deer, he refused to 
shoot it. 

After this he went to travel, and as he was going along 
a snake came out on the road and it turned into a beggar 
man and asked him where he was going. He replied, 
“ I am going to travel,” and the beggar straightway 
answered, “ I also. Then we will go together.” And as 
they were going along a frog came out in front of them and 
became a man and also asked where they were going. 
“ We are going to travel,” said they, and the frog man went 
along too. Then as they were going along the doe turned 
into a very nice girl on the road, and was washing her hair 
in the river, and she called out to them “ Where are you 
going ? ” and they said “ We are going to travel,” so the 
girl said “ I will travel too ” ; so they called to her to come 
along with them, and the girl joined them. 

And when they reached a country the hunter man and 
the girl married, and the hunter man went to a Sahib, and 
the Sahib said to him, ‘‘ If you don’t make a water-field 


and make rice grow in it in one day, then I will kill you with 
only an hour’s grace,” and when the Sahib said this the 
man became very sad and he went and told his wife, and 
his wife said, All right, I will do it. Please cut off my 
head with your dao.” But the man refused. But at last 
she prayed him so often that he cut off her head, and when 
he had done it he was very sorry and wept much. But 
his wife made the field and grew the rice and went back to 
their lodging and cooked their food and waited for her 
husband, but he did not come. So she sent the beggar man 
and the man who had been a frog to call him, but he did 
not come. And after that they went and hauled him to 
his wife’s house, and when he got there and went in his 
wife said, “ Why did not you come ? ” And the man said, 
“ 1 killed you just now, and you are here again ! ” And 
she gave the man his food, and the beggar and the frog man. 
And when they had eaten she said, “ Well, now let us go to 
our own coimtry. Once upon a time you saved my life by 
not shooting me and I have saved yours from death now,” 
and having spoken thus she became a doe again and went 
away into the jungle. And the man who had been a frog 
became a frog again and went into water, and the beggar 
turned back into a snake and crept into the bushes, and the 
man went alone to his own home. 

Notp, — Folklore refers to J. A. Macculloch, “ The Childhood of 
Fiction,” pp. 225 sqq,^ for numerous variants of the friendly animals 
which assist the hero. 

The Rat Princess and the Greedy Man 

Once upon a time a man was going to his fields and on the 
way he caught a rat. When he went home he took the 
rat with him and put it in a box. A few days later he opened 
the box to look at it, and behold, the rat had turned into 
a very beautiful girl. When he saw the girl he thought 
about her, If I could marry her to the greatest man in 
the world I should become a rich man myself,” so he made 
up his mind that as he had come by a very beautiful girl, 
he would marry her to the greatest man in the world. Then 
he went to the king and asked him if he would marry her, 




saying that the king was the greatest personage that he 
knew of. But the king replied, “ Oh, my friend, I should 
like to marry your daughter, but if you say that she must 
marry the greatest that there is, then know that I am far 
inferior to water, for if I go into the river where the stream 
is flowing fast, it very easily carries me away. Therefore 
water is greater than I.” 

Then the man went to water and spoke to him as he had 
spoken to the king, but v^ater also answered him, I am 
not the greatest ; for when I would be still then comes 
wind and blows me into motion. Therefore wind is greater 
than I.” 

So the man went on to the wind and offered his daughter 
to him in like manner, and the wind too replied, saying, 
“ I am not the greatest. The mountain is stronger than 
I and greater. All other things can I blow upon and move, 
but I cannot stir the mountain.” 

So again the man went to mountain, but the moimtain 
answered him, “ Yea, I am greater and stronger than some, 
but even a rat can pierce my side whenever he please. Thus 
for his work’s sake the rat is greater than I.” 

Then as the man had nowhere else to go and knew of no 
other great one he returned home, and behold his daughter 
was turned into a rat even as she had been. 


Matsuo used to rob the children of their food every day, 
so at last the children told their parents. Then the parents 
took counsel to kill Matsuo, and they said, “ What shall we 
do with him ? ” Matsuo said to them, “ Shut me in a box 
and push me into the river, that will kill me.” And they 
said “ We will do so.” But when he was in the box in the 
river he saw two girls fishing and said, “ If you let me out 
I will fill your baskets full of fish.” Then the girls let him 
out, and as they were going back to the far bank he defsecated 
into their basket and said “ Take.” Then the girls, seeing 
what he had done, told it in the village, saying, ‘‘ Matsuo 
deceived us.” And Matsuo came back again, robbing the 





children of their food once more, and the children again 
told their parents. 

Then as the parents were taking counsel Matsuo came to 
them again and said, ‘‘ Pile a lot of thatch on the top of me 
and bum it, that will kill me.’’ And the men did so to him, 
and the whole village got burnt, but Matsuo escaped, and 
lived to plague his fellow villagers in many other ways.^ 

^ The two stories that follow are also stories of Matsuo. 

The Ikgbniotts Orphak 

Once upon a time there was an orphan boy, and he was 
very poor. And he went to the king’s® village and heard 
that the king’s daughter was of an age to be married. So 
he went to the king’s house and he said to the king, “ How 
dark your house is,” and the king said, “What is yours 
like ? ” And he answered, “ My house is transparent. I 
can see the sky from anywhere in my house.” And when 
the king was eating, he said, “ Have you only that one 
dish ? ” “ Yes, I have only one dish,” said the king, 

“ what of yours ? ” “ When I have eaten, I throw away 

the old dish and eat from a new one every time,” said the 
orphan. And then, “ Have you only these cows ? ” “ How 

many cows have you got, then ? ” asked the king. My 
house is so full of cattle,” he answered, “ that some must 
stay outside.” And the orphan saw the king’s grandmother 
riding on a horse.® “ Do you let your grandmother get so 
cold ? ’’said he. “What do you do with your grandmother ? ” 
said the king. “ My grandmother,” he answered, “ is 
always warm, keeping by the fire.” 

After hearing all this the king gave his daughter to the 
orphan in marriage, and he took her to his home. But when 
the king’s daughter reached her husband’s house she 
marvelled, and she laughed at her husband’s house and said, 
“ This isn’t transparent ; we can’t see the sky from here.” 

> King— Angaxm kedi, a word used for foreign potentates, such as the 
Maharaja of Manipur or, indeed, the Emperor of India. 

’ Queiy, an exotic touch ? The horse is an animal tmknown to the 
Naga, and his word for it, hir or hwirr, is almost certmnly a corruption of 
the Assamese ** ghora.** Though it is also said to mean ** hornless.’* 




Oh yes, we can,’^ said he. Look there (pointing to 
the leaks in the roof). Then she said to him, What are 
your plates like ? Please tell me,*’ and he said, “ I have 
no proper dishes, I make one of leaves every time I eat.” 
‘‘ And how many cattle have you ? ” said she. “ Only one,” 
says he, “ but it is lying half inside the house and half out.” 
“ And your grandmother ? ” “ My grandmother is under- 

neath the fireplace,” ^ he replied. 

Then his wife wrote to her father not to come and visit 
them for seven years, for she was ashamed. 

Then she sent her husband to her father to borrow money, 
and he got the money and travelled to another country 
and bought rags and rubbish as manure to trade, and he 
collected it in his house. Then his wife said, ‘‘ What is the 
use of that ? What did you buy that for ? ” And he 
replied, This is very good for a certain thing,” and he 
went again and borrowed money from his father-in-law 
and bought more. This he did three times, but the third 
time he did not buy rags and rubbish, but gold.^ And he 
made round pellets with the earth and rags and rubbish 
like those which are made for a bullet-bow,® and he melted 
the gold and put in pellets, covering them with gold. Then 
he sold these gilt pellets to the people from whom he had 
bought the rubbish. 

Now these people, when thej found mud pellets inside 
the gold, went and complained to the king, and the king 
sent for him. “ Did you sell gold with mud pellets inside 
it ? ” said he. “ Yes,” said the orphan, “ I did. Do what 
you will with me, 0 king. I borrowed much money from 
you, and when I came to these people to trade they sold me 
earth and rags and rubbish. Therefore I too sold them mud 

^ Alluding to the Angami saying “ Ti a pvu, hije a pju ** (“ The sky is 
my father and the earth my mother *’), as a Naga hearth is made of three 
large stones planted into the earth so as to make a rest for the pot under 
which fire can be placed. 

‘ Another exotic touch. Gold is not known to the Nagas except to 
those in places which have considerable intercourse with plainsmen, and 
even then it is not prized by Nagas at all for decorative purposes. 

* This weapon is made and used like a bow, having two strings, which 
are joined in two places about one inch apart in the middle, m ak ing a 
socket of an inch square, in which the peUet made of hardened clay is put. 

T 2 




pellets in the gold.’’ Then the king said to the man who 
had complained, “ Did you sell earth and rags and rubbish 
to this man ? And he answered, “ Yes, we did sell him 
earth and rags and rubbish/’ Then the king was unable 
to find any fault in him and so punished him not at all. 
And in time the orphan became very rich.^ 

The Man who turnbi) Ashes to Rupees 

Once upon a time a man went riding along a road and he 
put a lot of ashes under his saddle, and then he came up 
with a man and his mother. And the old woman, being 
very tired, said, “ Please lend me your horse to ride on,” 
and her son said too, Please, if you are not tired, lend us 
your horse to get home.” And the horseman answered, 
“ I am not tired, but when your mother rides on this horse 
all my rupees will turn to ashes.” But the old woman and 
her son, disbelieving this, said, Oh, if they do, we will pay 
back your rupees. How much have you got in the horse ? ” 
And the man replied “ I have so many.” Then the son 
said, ” All right, if necessary I will sell my rice-fields and 
my houses and pay you.” So the horseman said, ” Very 
well, I will lend you my horse.” And when the old woman 
got on the horse the ashes flew out. So she and her son 
straightway sold their rice-fields and paid the owner of the 
horse, and he, returning to his village, told the villagers 
that he had exchanged the ashes for the rupees. They 
accordingly all burnt down their houses and gathered the 
ashes to sell, but no one would buy them. And he used to 
deceive his fellow villagers in this way at other times. 

Now the way the man had got the ashes to put under his 
saddle was this ; — 

His elder brother was a king and he himself kept cattle — 
a large number. One day all his cattle fell over a precipice 
and were killed. So he went and stripped off all their 
hides and hung them on the branch of a great tree and made 

^ The exploits of this orphcm form the subject of a large number 
of Angcuncii stories, of which the one given above is typical. It seems, 
however, to have been influenced by conte^ct with other people, as does 
the story following, which also introduces a horse. Possibly Manipur is 
responsible for the foreign element, or it may come from a Kaohari source. 




a fire underneath to dry them. And it was very cold, so 
some men who were passing by brought a lot of money to 
count it out by the fire, but the branches of the tree broke, 
and these men were frightened and ran off without their 
money, and the man who was drying his hides took the 
money and told his fellow villagers that he had killed his 
cattle and sold their skins for this money, so that the credu- 
lous villagers killed their cattle too and flayed them and 
tried to sell them, but nobody would buy. Then they came 
back and burnt the deceiver’s house, and he, gathering the 
ashes, mounted his horse and deceived the old woman and 
her son in the manner described. 

And after the villagers had been again deceived about 
the sale of ashes they took the man and tied him up prepara- 
tory to throwing him in the river ; but leaving him alone 
for a while, he started to sing. This attracted another 
cowherd, who set him free that he might sing the more easily, 
for he wished to hear the song, but as soon as he was free 
he tied up the cowherd boy in his place, and the villagers 
coming back, threw the boy into the river. So cruelly did 
this man entreat his fellow villagers.^ 

The Monkey and the Jackal 

One day a monkey and a jackal met in the jungle, and the 
jackal said to the monkey, “ I wish I were a monkey, as 
you can climb trees and get at any fruit you like.” But the 
monkey retorted, I wish I were a jackal, as jackals can 
go to men’s houses and get rice and meat and fowls and 
anything they want.” Then the monkey said, “ I wiU 
bring the best food I can get, and you bring the best food 
you can get, and we will taste and see whose is the better.” 
“ All right,” said the jackal, and went off to get food, and 
the monkey did the same. When they returned the monkey 
said, ‘‘ Please give me your food first.” So the jackal put 

^ Apropos of this story, Folklore points out that “ the story of the 
deceiver who is ultimately caught, but escapes by cunning and puts his 
enemies to confusion, is found in many savage tribes/* and gives some 
references to similar stories. 

Beferences to* horses or gold or kings probably suggest that these stories 
may have been borrowed from Manipur or the ICaoharis. 




it in the monkey’s hand and the monkey ran up to the top 
of a tree and ate it all, and would not give the jackal any 
fruit. And the jackal was very angry and went away, 
saying, All right, I will purdsh you for that.” So he went 
and hung about a thicket of wild “ taro,” and the taros 
looked tender and very large, and when the monkey came by 
he called out to the jackal, What are you doing there ? ” 
So the jackal answered, ‘‘ Oh, I am only eating the Sahib’s 
sugar-cane, as it is very sweet.” Then the monkey said, 
“ Please give me some ” ; but the jackal answered, “ The 
Sahib will be angry.” ‘‘ Oh no, he won’t,” said the monkey. 
“ All right then, come and take it yourself,” said the jackal. 
‘‘ Go and cut one, peel the skin, and eat it.” So the monkey 
cut a wild taro and peeled and began to eat it, and his 
throat itched and his mouth swelled up so that he could not 
even talk. Then the monkey went off to a bees’ nest and 
he said to the jackal, “ Don’t bite that,” and the jackal 
wanted to bite it, but at first the monkey would not let 
him. Then he said the jackal might as soon as he (the 
monkey) had gone behind a hill. So when the monkey 
was out of sight the jackal bit and the bees poured out and 
he got badly stung. Then the jackal went off to a pool 
that was overgrown wdth tank-grass so that the water could 
not be seen, and he sat down and waited. Then the monkey 
came along. “ What are you doing ? ” said the monkey. 
“ I am watching the Sahib’s clothes,” said the jackal. 

I am coming to join you,” said the monkey from the tree. 
** You mustn’t,” said the jackal. “ I shall jump down,” 
said the monkey. “ AU right then, jump down if you 
must,” said, the jackal, so the monkey jumped down into 
the water and was drowned.^ 

^ There are no jackals in the Naga Hills except at the edge of the 
plains and round the civil station of Kohima. This story reads like a 
garbled version of the Kachari story of the Monkey and the Hare, in 
which, however, the hare scores all through. There are no hares in the 
Naga Hills. On the other hand, the story is known also to the Aos and 
to the Lhotas, the Aos telling it of a jack^ and a bear. It does not seem 
to be known to the Sernas, who are not in touch with the plains. In the 
Ao vereson the bees* nest is described as a drum which the bear is invited 
to beat, in this point following the Kachari version more closely than 
the Angami story does. , The Kach^ story is given in Mr. Endle’s mono* 
graph on the Kacharis. 




The Deaf ash the Blind 

Now there was a deaf man and a blind man. The deaf 
man had very good sight and the blind man had very good 
hearing, and the two were friends. One day the deaf man 
said to his friend, “ Let us talk. My friend, I am very 
much attracted by your condition. I wish I were you.” 
And the blind man answered, ‘‘Why do you find my condition 
so attractive ? ” “ It is true,” said the deaf man, “ that 

you do not see anything, but you can hear any noise what- 
ever.” And the blind man said to the deaf, “ You would 
very much like to be me, and why is it that I should so much 
like to be you ? The reason is that though it is true you 
can hear nothing, yet you can see anything in the world.” 
And with that they fell to catching sparrows with lime. 

The Ogress (Kaoha Naga) 

Once upon a time there were two boys whose parents 
had died. The boys did not know how to till the fields, 
and lived by snaring birds, and an ogress ate the birds’ 
heads. One morning the boys kept watch to see who ate 
the birds’ heads, and when they saw the ogress they said, 
“ Oh, old woman, why do you eat our birds’ heads ? ” 
She answered, “ I had forgotten you. Come and live with 
me and I will cherish you dearly.” Now the country of 
cannibals^ is surrounded by a broad river, though the old 
ogress had a charm by which she crossed it. When the 
three of them came to the river she said to it, “ Please let 
me pass now,” and the water parted and they walked over. 

When they reached the ogress’s house, she left the elder 
boy outside, and, taking the yoimger one in, put him in 
the room where she kept her charms. The ogress took 
great care of the two boys, and the younger slept with her 
in the house, but the elder slept in a different house. 

Now when the little boy had gone to sleep the ogress’s 
husband said, “ We will kill and eat,” but the ogress felt 

^ The Sernas say that there is a village beyond the Yachumi tribe 
where children are bought and fattened for foo(L 

This story is also told by Khonozna Angamis* who may, however, have 
taken it from the Kacha Nagas. 

28 o 



the boy and said, “ He is not fat enough, we will not kill 
him yet.” And this happened for many nights and the 
boy overheard it several times. So one morning he said 
to his brother, “ Her husband wants to eat us, he must be 
a cannibal.” But his brother answered, ‘‘ Oh, they like 
us very much, they probably won’t kill us.” Then his 
brother answered, “ You say to her husband that your 
stomach aches badly, so that you cannot sleep in the other 
house.” So that night the elder boy slept with the ogress. 
But he did not go to sleep, he only feigned to sleep, and he 
heard the ogress say, “ Oh, the elder boy is not fat, but the 
little boy is ready to eat,” and next morning he said to his 
brother, “ Your words are true, but what are we to do ? 
As for the river I can get across. But I do not know the 
way, so what can we do ? ” The other said, I can manage 
that ” ; so they took the cannibal’s charm and thus got 
across the river, and the ogress came after them, but she 
had no charm and could not cross the river, so the boys 

Note* — Folklore quotes a number of instances of the crossing of 
water by persons with supernatural powers, and gives a story of the 
Ntlakapamux, or Thompson River Indians, which has a close resemblance 
to the above story (Teit, “ Traditions of the Thompson River Indians,** 
Boston, 1898, pp. 93, 119), mentioning at the same time that the adventures 
of children among cannibals is a well-known theme among the tribes of 
British Columbia, and that some of them resemble the Naga story still 
more closely then the one mentioned. 


We Lhotas^ call the wild boar the pig of the gods. Once 
a wild boar kept eating the fields, and a man at last managed 
to wound it and tracked it by its blood to a cave and went 
in. Inside there was a god who asked what the man wanted 
and whether he had wounded his pig. The man was afraid, 
and so he said that he had come to ask for the god’s daughter 
in marriage. Then the god showed the man his two 
daughters, one ugly, but dressed in fine clothes, and the 

^ The version given is a Lhota version, but the story is common to the 
Angamis, Sernas, and Lhotas, and may fairly be given here as an Angcuni 




other pretty, but dirty and naked ; but the man chose the 
latter and took her away in a basket. 

When the man got to the village, he left the basket by 
the water-hole and went into the village to call his kinsmen. 
Meanwhile a woman named Hunchibili came up and looked 
into the basket. Then she took the girl and threw her into 
the stream and got into the basket herself, pulling the lid 
on after her. 

The man came back with his relations and they opened 
the basket and everyone* was disgusted with Hunchibili’s 
ugliness and laughed at the man for having told them that 
he had brought back a beautiful wife. The man himself 
could not understand what had happened, but believing 
Hxmchibili to be the girl whom he had brought back from 
the cave, he married her. 

Now the real wife, who had been thrown into the water, 
turned into a bamboo plant, out of which a young shoot 
sprang up ; and the husband saw the shoot and cut it and 
took it to his house and had it cooked. But when it was 
boiling on the fire it kept quite quiet until the man came in, 
and as soon as he came in it kept crying out from the pot, 
“ Hunchibili ! la, la, la, la ! Hunchibili ! la, la, la, la ! ’’ 
and the man became afraid and threw it away. Then when 
he had thrown it away, it turned into an orange tree and 
the man cherished it. Then a single orange ripened on the 
tree, and when Hunchibili came out on to the platform at 
the back of the house this orange swung as far away as it 
could, but when the husband came it bent down towards 
him quite close. At last he picked it and put it into a 
basket. And then he forgot all about it.^ 

After this, when the man went with Hunchibili to the 
fields, they used to find on their return that the husband’s 
bed was swept and garnished, but that Hunchibili’s bed was 

^ In a Sema version of the story the orange is picked by an old woman, 
and the girl when she comes from the orange keeps tidying up the old 
woman’s house until she is caught by her, after which she recognises her 
husband by spinning a top which only he can pick up. 

I have also foimd this incident of a girl coming out of an orange and 
tidying up the house daily when its owner is away at work in a story current 
among the Khasis. 




covered with dirt and filth and dung. This happened every 
day. At last, being unable to find out who did this, as all 
his neighbours denied having done it, the husband lay in 
wait in the porch of his house, and when Hunohibili had 
gone to cut wood, he saw the god’s daughter come out of 
the basket and sweep and clean his bed and throw dirt on 
Hunchibih’s bed. Then he ran in and seized her and she 
told him the whole story. So the man took a dao and 
sharpened it, and when Hunchibili came carrying wood 
she said, “ Father, come and help me off with my load.” 
So the man came and he cut off her head with one stroke 
of his dao, and the kachu ” plants, which Hunchibili 
was carrying with the firewood, got soaked in her blood, 
and from that time forward red kachus have made men 


The following songs are taken from Khonoma village, 
where songs are divided into ten or more classes. The 
ones given are recorded as nearly as possible in the dialect 
in which they are sung, and which is apt to vary from the 
ordinary spoken dialect in being archaic. 

The following classes of songs are recognised, the classi- 
fication of a song depending on the nature of the tune, the 
number of the singers, or the circumstances under which 
the song is sung. 

1. Tmli. Sung particularly at gennas (such as the 

Thekrangi Genna). 

2. Chahrii, Sung in the village or in the fields. 

^ The Sernas add a sequel to this in which from the body of Hunchibili 
also springs up a tree, which the hero cuts down and makes into a ladder 
for his granary. When his wife is with child he insists on going out on a 
head-hunting expedition in spite of the girl’s prayers, and orders her on 
no account to go to the granary before his return. As he is coming back 
victorious his parents insist on the wife’s going to get grain for him, and 
the Hunchibili ladder shakes her off, so that she falls and is killed. The 
husband goes to the cave to seek for her, but the god puts him with a 
girl made of beeswfiix. who melts away one day in the sun, after which 
the husband again goes back to the cave, but though the wife wishes to 
go back with him, the spirit refuses to let her go with a man who has 
twice let her get killed. 


3. Lhipecha. Sung when “ dancing ” in the Tehuba or 

similar place at gennas. 

4. PUhucha. Sung when pounding dhan. 

5. lAkwino, Sung rather fast (comparatively, that is) 

and pitched fairly high. 

6. Lhipim, Sung by two men. The words are those of 

Chakrii or similar to them, but the tunes 

7. Wiipese, Sung by boys sleeping in the morung when 

they are on the machan. 

8. 8hdi. Sung in the jungle only. It is kennob to sing 

Sheli in the village. 

9. Kell, Sung by quartettes of two men and two 

women taking alternate versicles. 

10. Lideh, Sung very slowly and pitched very low. 

In the songs given here, the indication of the speaker 
before a line or verse does not mean that there is necessarily 
any change in the singer, but is given to show the meaning 
of the song. The English renderings are very free, as it is 
almost impossible to make a literal translation intelligible, 
the construction tending to go on the lines of 

Little boy, pair of skates, 

Rotten ice. Heaven’s gates, 

while, on the other hand, the repetitions and vocal inter- 
polations required by the singing have been omitted in 
recording and translating alike. 

Tsali Free rendering 

** Adzil Owe u ** 

Man, Adzii gwe u ukeri tagwe. M, I will marry my love. 

Woman. Keri nyeri terhOpfa medoh, W, Marriage is by the will of the 


Man, Toh loi mii jru kemvii kechii. M, Of that comes happiness. 

Woman, Mia ketha u she kenyii mewa W. You are one who runs after 

other girls. 

Man. Mhiare tomu a she shiale. M, If you go away I am sad. 

Shelihuwii mewa upokrii No one else has bought your 

life, Shelihuwu, 

PiezhU mo mu mia ri pi sheni. And since not, why do you fear 

other men ? 

This song is sung by young men to the girls they wish to 
marry. The latter, if willing, sometimes take up the 




woman’s responses. The singing of this song is the form 
taken by a proposal of marriage. Shelihuwii is a girl’s 


“ Dozhii ” 

A girl speaks. 

ThiwUrttri Dozhii atikru. 

Chipfii ledi E>utzeze renu. 

No reliche, Dozhii meniu. 

Dozhii speaks. 

Che lavorri, aketawu. 

Dozhii' 8 Wife speaks. 

Avokino ri rhotero 

Avo peino sekose ketse 

Ngu ke mema mhoohemachawii 

Memi rhise rosiwii rese 

Hanaeo hanaiyano. 

No peyu, a bikeye. 

Thebi kesa serhe toghowii. 
Akeshowii thenupvii siiche. 


When it rains, Dozhii is my rain- 

I will take it and go to Krutze's Fond. 

Go slowly, Dozhu, dearest. 


Now we have reached home, darling. 

Dozhii's Wife. 

K we two are divorced. 

If we divide our children between us — 

But we should not do what our 
enemies would like ! 

(? No more) plucking flowers and 

My younger brother’s share and my 

You have reached your prime, I am 
past my youth. 

You can associate with the young. 

It was my misfortune to be a woman. 

This song is known as “ Dozhii.” Dozhii, a married man, 
has a flirtation with a girl. He returns home and threatens 
to divorce his wife, who argues with him. Krutze’s Pond 
is said to be the name of a pool on Kohima land, Khonoma 
having learnt the song from Kohima. 


** Kidzu Tsohpru ” 

Men. Men. 

Kidzu tsohpru tsia wii Ihunu zhii. Seeds are in the earth and keep 

falling thereto : 

Zuwa derri Ihule lo voh ix. They take them away, but still they 

spring up. 

U tema sa Ihule mo a ru. If man die he riseth not again. 

Women. Women. 

Thenuma wii ba cha soichie. Girls delay not too long (to marry) I 

Hsu tha pfii hai tsu rei gu. When your hair grows long you will 

grow old ; 

When that cometh to pass life is at 
an end. 

Tieh tei mu u rrli keseh. 




Men. Men, 

Khra wii jil rei la le lovoh il. The moon waneth and waxeth again, 
A ni rrwii jliroh la mo le. When I have lost my beloved there 

is no more meeting. 

This song is sung at the Thekrangi Genna in Khonoma, and 
also when sowing jhum fields. 


**Nichu Nikri'* 
Nichu nikri va kemela nu. 

Tsuranumo chaza prirano 
Lhumetso vapi tero gh. 
Mathakeji zepfii aserhe 

Tozholemu ti keso zizhe 
Zeppepile zemegu peki 
Alheno tsu Sorozhu chakro 

Kemozhu lechu vo nitso. 

Tigi khrii pre, terho-naki krii 

Kevilhe nu ovate nihoh 

Urrahuri zu kevi cha 

Lhato memo seya huteru. 

Ketzorii no tsie keseranu 
Premezuzu bidoh keyukri 

Ketianuwh u kethapii che. 

Uhi wadi kehreledi nu 

Sevii u ngu kemii meya-modzii 
Thelojiche zekevakiwe. 
Serhemoii mewe ogipu. 

Kemokiri votso tenihoh. 

Pesekriewii a-ge jahelo. 

From youth on let there be no part- 

I will wait by the path to watch ; 

I gaze at that fairest one from afar. 

When her hair is long and bound up, 
let her remain my friend emd go to 
the fields with me. 

Then will I wait for her at dawn. 

I will take her beyond the others. 

I will return alone by way of 

Then am I lonely by myself. Send 
her word of it. 

In the sky the moon is rising, the 
sun-god has set. 

The moonlight is shining down on 

On our favourite path through the 
village ; 

After death we can tread it no 

By the stone of Ketsorr 

Let us pluck off heads of grass and 
caress one another. 

Thus shall I possess her. 

We will pour our cups into one 

We will go ahead of the spiteful, 

We will not hide our love. 

If we do not go to the fields together, 
men will remark on it. 

Whether we do or we do not, they 
will accuse us. 

Don’t be angry with me, Pese- 
kriewii ! 

This is sung in the procession round the Tehuba at the 
Thekrangi Genna. S6r6zhu is the name of a distant grazing 
ground. The stone of Ketsorr is a memorial stone put up 




to the memory of one Ketsorr. Pesekriewii is a girl’s name 
meaning “ She-who-will-be-lamented-when-she-is-dead.” 

**Hoiyi OUe** 
Sodza huri uthu ho kerhe 

Chaziu gi pre che kedi gi nu 

Nirivole hen votate. 

Kishi seko tudzh luranu 
Ketsie sese pitsa se kedoh. 

Thiahu derri setsoh pfuinoh 

Vixnejile sajie da kerri. 

Nichmna kr6 kiche vo kehu. 

Meni matse siwii ni mele 

Bale hu mu chare de nu 

Lozorewii levi metseu 
Mezhe jfira memi mo ohade. 

Though the villages are separated 
the herds graze together. 

Upon the ridge there is a great stone 
to sit on. 

Do you go there ! I will go too. 

Your three suitors are at the well ; 

They are picking up stones and 

Of all women you are the most 
beautiful ; 

Your skin is fedr and there are brass 
earrings in your ears. 

The little boys are gathered in the 

But you have your true-love’s name 
ever on your lips, 

And 1 am ashamed to remain in 
your presence. 

All men love you, Lozorewii, 

Every part of your person is 

This is a song put in the mouth of an unsuccessful suitor 
of a girl called Lozorewii. It is to be noticed that brass 
earrings are not worn by women in Khonoma nowadays, 
though they are worn by Chakrima girls and in some of 
the Dzunokehena villages. The writer heard this song 
sung by a quartette of two men and two girls of the Semoma 
clan of Khonoma. The title “ Hoiyi Olle ” refers to the tune of 
the song, which entails the singing of these two meaningless 
words in a repetitive refrain between the lines of the words. 


Ketea nu lerr-ro udi krehewtt 
Bepu hudi kezoro viho. 


Khonhye wii ri kiizU tsanu tsu 
Mheye lipi a niuko shthnolie 

When we go into the jungle hide no 

To speak all that is in the heart and 
be friends, is well. 

We have never been into the forest 

1 have never plucked wild herbs to 
fill my love’s basket. 

For this 1 am sad. 

A renumoho. 






ThenumewU thepeso hilo. 
ThapftUiro larr ukezomoho. 


Hi tse u thapfu larr ukezomo ro 
No wii leshil pi che. 


Do not teaae a girl. 

When her hair is grown she will no 
longer be my friend. 


Whether I don’t come back and be 
your friend after my hair is grown, 
You wait and see. 

It is kenna to sing Shell except in the jungle. In the 
last song the man means that the girl will forget about him 
when she is married. She replies that she will leave her 
husband to come back to him. 





There is a Naga story, current in different versions among 
the different tribes, to the effect that in the beginning the 
Deity gave the knowledge of reading and writing both to 
the Nagas in the hills and the plainsmen of Assam, but 
whereas the latter were given stone or paper on which to 
record their writings, the Nagas were given a book of skins 
which came by an early end owing to its edible qualities.^ 
Hence the Nagas have no written language. As one might 
expect, however, of men without the art of writing, the 
language of signs has reached a high state of development 
— a development no doubt fostered and maintained by the 
recurrent necessity of communication between members 
of neighbouring villages speaking dialects or languages 
totally incomprehensible to one another. To judge how 
highly developed is this power of communicating by signs, 
etc., it is necessary only to experience a Naga interpreter’s 
translation of a story or a request told to him in sign 
language by a dumb man. Not that there is any stereo- 
typed method of signs — there is no more an universal sign 
language than an universal Naga language, and the signs 
used depend on the genius and personality of the speaker, 
but the natural aptitude for their use is such that from one 
Naga to another their meaning is rarely obscure. Indeed 
the writer has known a dumb man make a long and detailed 

^ A similar story is reported by Sir G. Du£E Sutherland Dunbar as 
current among the Padam Abors. 

* 9 ^ U 2 




complaint of an assault in which nothing was missing except 
proper names, and even these were eventually identified by 
means of the dumb man’s description of his assailants* 
dress and personal appearance. 

Besides being used for communication, signs are used 
with considerable effect to emphasise the spoken word in 
every sort of circumstance. Of this use no better instance 
can be given than by quoting Captain Butler ^ ; — 

“ They (the Angamis) have a singularly expressive 
manner of emphasising messages. For instance, I remem- 
ber a challenge being conveyed by means of a piece of 
charred wood, a chilli, and a buUet, tied together. * This 
declaration of war was handed on from village to village 
until it reached the village for which it was intended, 
where it was no sooner read, than it was at once dispatched 
to me by a special messenger, who in turn brought with 
him a spear, a cloth, a fowl, and some eggs, the latter 
articles signifying their subordination and friendship to 
me at whose hands they now begged for protection. It 
is perhaps scarcely necessary for me to explain that the 
piece of burnt wood signified the nature of the punish- 
ment threatened ^ (i.c., the village consigned to flames), 
the bullet descriptive of the kind of weapon with which 
the foe was coming armed, and the chilli the smarting, 
stinging, and generally painful nature of the punishment 
about to be inflicted. And only the other day a piece of 
wood, with a twisted bark collar at one end and a rope at 

^ “ Rough Notes on the Angami Nageis,” Journ. Asiat. Soc,t No. IV, 
1876, p. 317. 

* By the Sernas a challenge to war is sent in the form of a broken panji. 
[ myself had a challenge to personal combat sent me accompanied by a 
splinter of wood thrust into a chilli, signifying that if I did not accept 
I was fit only to be impaled like a dog or chicken killed for some genna. 
The message purported to come from the Yachumi village of Saporr, 
but probably was sent by its neighbour Sotogorr, of the same tribe, in 
the hopes of getting Saporr into trouble. During the Kuki rising of 
1917-18 the hills were full of this sort of symbolic message. 

* In the case of a Kuki message sent to Khonoma in 1917 the burnt wood 
was said to signify the simultaneity with which the Kukis and Nagas 
should rise against the Government. 




the other, used for tying up dogs with on the line of 
march, was brought to me with another prayer for pro- 
tection.^ The explanation in this case is, of course, 
obvious, namely, that a dog’s treatment was in store for 
the unfortunate recipients of this truculent message. 
Two sticks cross-wise, or a fresh-cut bough, or a handful 
of grass across a path, declare it to be closed. But of 
such signs and emblems the number is legion, and I 
therefore need only renjiark that it is curious to observe 
how the ‘ green bough ’ is here too, as almost everywhere, 
an emblem of peace.”^ 

The crossed sticks or fresh-cut bough mentioned by 
Captain Butler are familiar to everyone who has spent any 
time in the Naga Hills. The writer once tested their 
efficacy by putting a couple of branches across an obvious 
and well-worn short cut to the village to which he was 
marching when several of his Naga servants had fallen 
behind. These men carefully avoided proceeding along 
the usual path and took the alternative route three times 
its length. This device of sticks and boughs is noticed by 
Colonel Woodthorpe® as being also used to turn aside the 
small-pox demon in his approach to a village.^ 

With regard to the spoken language of the Angamis 
something has already been said in the earlier pages ® of 
this monograph, and for a proper account of the language 
the reader is referred to the Angami Grammar by McCabe 

^ I had just such an one brought to me by Bakema (Yangkhunou), 
who had it from the rebel Kukis in 1918. 

^ It is also an emblem of henna. Green boughs are put up on houses, 
the occupants of which are henna ^ while a man who is henna (among the 
Aos) wears a bit of green stufE in his ear. 

® Journ. Anthrop. Instit., Vol. XI (1881), p. 69. 

* Smoke signals are used by Sernas, but are very simple, consisting 
merely in making a smoky fire so that the smoke may be seen at a distance 
and convey information previously agreed upon. The only case in which 
I have actually seen this method used was when five or six villages agreed 
to fish the Tizu on a given day together. The further villages sent up 
smoke signals when they started for the river, so that the others should 
know when they ought to set out- 

* Part I, 




and Vol. Ill, part ii, of Sir George Grierson’s “ Linguistic 
Survey of India.” Sir G. Grierson has classed the languages 
of the Angamis proper, the Chakrimas, and the Kezamas in 
the sub-group “ Western Naga,” and that of the Memi in 
the sub-group “ Naga-Kuki,” of the Naga Group. As has 
been already noticed, the linguistic grouping of the Naga 
tribes does not seem to be absolutely conterminous with 
what may be styled their racial grouping, as the Memi are 
in every respect but that of language very intimately allied 
to the other Angami tribes. 

As regards the language of the Angamis proper, Sir G. 
Grierson distinguishes several dialects, but it should be 
made quite clear that these are not really more than local 
divergences of the Angami language which are found in 
every village, and the dialect of Jotsoma, for instance, 
differs every whit as much from the dialect of Kohima as 
does, say, the “ Dzuna*^ dialect mentioned in the ‘‘ Linguistic 
Survey.” McCabe’s Grammar is based on a sort of amal- 
gamation of the dialects of the Khonoma group of which 
Jotsoma, Khonoma, and Mozema are the principal villages, 
and the dialects of these villages are, generally speaking, 
simpler in vowel sounds than other Angami dialects. It is 
very much to be regretted that, since the publication of 
McCabe’s Grammar, the Kohima dialect, with its impossible 
diphthongs and double vowel sounds, has been adopted as 
the standard for the Angami country and used in schools 
in transcribing Angami in Roman letters. 

McCabe’s Grammar contains a valuable introduction in 
which he shows how the vast diversification of Naga lan- 
guages and dialects has in part arisen. His vocabulary, 
however, contains a number of words given to render abstract 
nouns in English. These must be accepted with caution, 
for though Angami is possibly richer in abstract ideas than 
Serna and other Naga languages, abstract notions are, on 
the whole, utterly foreign to the Naga mind, and many of 
the Angami words given as abstract nouns in McCabe’s 
vocabulary are in reality adjectives or parts of verbs. 
Some adjectives, too, are rendered by verbs in Angami. 




Chileto,’** “ will do,” to give one instance, is used to render 
“ able.” 

One point in the Angami vocabulary is worthy of notice. 
Whereas other Nagas readily borrow new words from 
Assamese or Hindustani and assimilate them into their own 
tongue (this is particularly noticeable in Serna), the Angami 
invents a word of purely Angami form. Thus an Angami 
speaks of a steamboat as mi-ro, literally “ fire-boat,” while 
the Serna, who on the Angami principle could perfectly 
well coin the word ami-shukay would never dream of using 
anything but jahaz, even when speaking in his own tongue 
to other Sernas. Similarly, while the Angami always 
speaks of a gun as Misi (==“ fire-stick ”), the ordinary 
word used by the Serna is alika, which really means the 
cross-bow used by his Chang and Sangtam neighbours, or 
mashehOy which seems to be borrowed from the Angami 

The tonal nature of the Angami language is noticed by 
McCabe (pp. 4 and 5), and a short list of instances is given 
in which the meaning of the Angami word varies according 
to the pitch of the voice. This list might be vastly amplified, 
and other Naga languages resemble Angami in this respect. 
The tables of comparison between Angami and Ao, Angami 
and Chinese, and Angami and Nepali are taken from McCabe, 
and a further table is added by the writer, of Angami, 
Serna, Chang, and Burmese, for the Burmese words in 
wh’ch he is indebted to Captain Hensley, sometime of the 
Naga Hills Military Police. The subsequent remarks on 
the Angami language are taken from the “Linguistic Survey,” 
where, by the way. Sir G. Grierson gives a complete biblio- 
graphy of authorities. The story illustrative of the Angami 
language and the tables showing variations in dialects 
come from the same source. For the intimate relation 
between Angami and the other Naga languages, as well as 
Manipuri, Grierson should be consulted. 

^ Some Angamis who went with the Naga Labour Corps to France saw 
aeroplanes for the first time, but were at no loss at all for a word, dubbing 
them kepronya ( “ flying machines ’*) without hesitation. 





Tables of Anqami 



Angami Naga. Nowgong Naga. - 


























































The Nowgong Naga has been taken from Hodgson’s 
“ Note on the Aborigines of the Eastern Frontier,” published 
in Asiatic Society's Journal, 1849. 

The following table compares a few Angami Naga and 
Chinese words : — 


Angami Naga. 















So or sopo 


















Si (know) 


f » 







Ti (soil) 









































Sa (dead) 



* From McCabe. 

* The “ Nowgong Naga ” given here is Ao (Chongli division) as spoken 
in the village of Merangkong, on the Langbangkang range, called 

“ Naogaon * ** by the Assamese. The similarity between Angami and 
Chongli Ao is considerably less than one might infer from this list. 




Compare also : — 


Angami Naga, 

Eastern Nepal, 




































. Bitter 





Nu ^ 



Sit down 














(Tibetan) ruko 



(Japanese) zo 



(Japanese) me 

The Chinese, Nepalese, Tibetan, and Japanese words are 

mentioned by McCabe as having been taken from Hunter’s 
“ Comparative Dictionary of the Non-Aryan Languages of 

The following is a comparative tabic of Angami Naga, 
Serna Naga, Chang Naga, and Burmese : — 


Angami Naga, 

Serna Naga. 

Chang Naga. 























kijO, kidzii 








Ian, lam 



na, n5 





















sau-chie huase 

(= score, one) 


tsii, tsi 






gwo, gu 



go to the fields chu 




hau, te 
kinhi (day = 

hi, ti 





that (chanyu 


zha) tsii-kinyheh = sun) 
= Run) 














a . . . ki 

ma . . . bu 

(=not . . 



’po (apo = my 

apo (i po = 


aba, abe 


my father) 















^ dzii = water, the Angami word for egg = ** fowl water.** So in other 
Naga languages except Serna. Thus the Chang au~tei -• “ bird-water.** 

* The root is fioto or tfo. Te is merely the suffix of the past tense 
In the same word ketiy the root is ti, and he the adjectival prefix, 

* R in Angami usually becomes gh in Serna* 




The construction used in Burmese for expressing the 
date is also similar to the Angami construction,, ‘‘ The 
third ” {date) — sAa-^e-NHE {zha = day and ae = three) in 
Angami : in Burmese it is thone-yet-isis^ {thorn = day, 
yet = three). 

Another similarity of construction is visible in the method 
of reporting speech, e.g., “ They are going ’’ = Angami, 
uho voya we ; Burmese, thtvdan fhwade ; Chang, hauan 
hauta. “ It is said {or they say) that they are going ” = uko 
voya we she and thudan thwade de respectively. So in 
Chang with tiigh : — Hauan hauta-tiigh. 

The Serna uses the word pani {<ipi ani = is saying) in 
the same way : — 

pa wuni = he will go. 

( he says 1 

they say Vthat he will go. 
it is saidj 

In pronouncing Angami the method followed in McCabe 
and Grierson is as follows : — d = a in ‘‘ pan,” ci or & is used 
to represent the broad a in ‘‘ ball,”^ o = o in “ hot,” o = the 
German d in schon, ii = the German ii in bruder,” 
e represents the sound of ey in they ” or ai in “ aim.” 
Otherwise the vowels are given their continental qualities, 
long and short being distinguished by the usual signs. 
Th is pronounced as in “ pot-house,” not as in “ think,” 
and the in the word un — “ thy ” is not really pronounced 
at aU, being a better rendering of the sound. The value 
of both vowels and consonants varies a good deal from one 
group of villages to another, and changes such as that from 
kw in Khonoma to pf in Kohima are frequent. 

^ As a matter of fact in Khonoma and Jotsoma at any rate the sound 
represented by d in McCabe’s Grammar is nearer an English o sound than 
anything, and in the monograph generally, apart from this part dealing 
with language, I have used o or d and not d in writing words containing 
this sound. I have also followed the current Naga Hills usage in writing 
Vl for both the sounds here given as German C and German % which do 
not perhaps ^uite represent the vedue of the sound we usually write as ii, 
which probably falls somewhere between the two. 

* Sir G. Grierson, “ Linguistic Survey of India,” vol. Ill, part 2, p. 206, 
says that ** the n ... is very fauntly sounded.” n here is doubtless a 
misprint for u. 




Praxes and Suffixes .^ — ^Angami expresses the various 
meanings which a root can assume partly by the aid of 
suffixes and infixes and partly by the aid of prefixes. These 
will be explained in their proper places, but the following 
prefixes require to be mentioned here. They have no special 
meaning of their own, and they are frequently dropped : — 

1. The following prefixes are used in forming adjectives, 
adverbs, and present participles : — 

ka or fee 



re. Thus : — 

ke-zhd, large. ka4i, black. 

jfcc-vi, good. ke-me-thi, strong. 

ke-re-ku, concave. pe4ey or me4e, all. 

ke-me-ku, ditto. ke-jor, coming. 

pe-sd, me-sd, or re-sd, above, ke-chi, doing. 

pe-krdy or re-krd^ below. ka-ngu^ seeing. 

The adjective usually follows the noun it qualifies. When 
this is the case, and an indefinite article is also used, the 
prefix ke is not dropped. When, on the other hand, the 
adjective is a predicate, the prefix is elided. Thus : — 
Themmd ke-zhd po. 

Man big one, i.e., a big man, 
but — Themmd hdu zhd 

Man this big, i.e., this man is big. 

2. In names of animals and objects the prefixes the, te, 
and mi are often dropped when the sentence is definite, and 
no misapprehension is likely to arise from the elision. 

Thus, te-fuh, a dog, but d filh, my dog. 

3. Nouns of agency are formed by suffixing md, man, to 
the present participle. Thus, bd, to sit ; ke-bd, sitting ; 
ke-bd-md, a sitting man, a sitter. 

4. Other nouns are formed from verbs by prefixing the 
or te. Thus, bd, to sit ; fhe-bd, a chair. 

6. The prefix u often replaces te or the, or, rather, in most 
cases both are used indifferently. Thus, the-vil or u-vii, 

^ From this point up to the specimen of Angami Naga, 1 have reprcidiioad 
Grierson literatim. 




fowl ; the-vo or u-vo, pig ; si or u-8% wood ; te-fii or u-fu, 
dog. U is always prejfixed to nouns signifying parts of the 
body when used in an indefinite sense, and when a personal 
pronoun, or the word md, an individual, is not employed. 
Thus, u-phiy the foot or feet ; u-bi, the hand or hands ; 
u4sa, the head or heads. So : — 

U’phi pe themmorno chd-toyd-wL 

the-feet by men walking-in-the-habit-are, 

the feet are used in walking. 
u-tsa gi tepe pfaydrwL 
the-head on loads carried-are. 

Like the Lhota o, and the Serna, Rengma and Mikir d-, 
this ti- is almost certainly derived in such cases as the above 
from an old possessive pronoun meaning “ his,’’ which has 
in most instances lost its original signification. 

Articles . — ^The numeral po, one, is used for an indefinite 
article. Thus rm po, a man. 

For definite articles hd-u, this ; lu, that ; and the relative 
particle u, he who is, are used. Thus te-kliu hd-u or te-khu In, 
the tiger. 

Nichu-md andu kevor-u. 

Young-male yesterday come-he-who-is, i.e., the boy 
who is the one who came yesterday, the boy who 
came yesterday. 

As in the above examples, the article invariably follows 
the noun which it qualifies. If there is an adjective, it 
follows the adjective. Thus, te-fiih, ka4i po, a black dog. 

Nouns . — ^Nouns descriptive of parts of the body, or 
expressing relationship, must always be preceded by a 
possessive pronoun. Thus, d-phi, my feet ; po-phi, his 
feet. Phi cannot be used by itself. So, d-po, my father ; 
un-po, thy father. Po, father, cannot be used by itself. 

Gender . — ^This is only apparent in the case of animate 
nouns. It is indicated in the case of nouns of relationship 
by the use of different words. Thus, d po, my father ; 
d zo, my mother. In the case of other nouns it is indicated 
by the following suffixes : — 

Masculine : pfo, chu, dd, dzii. 

Feminine : krii. 




Some nouns take one suffix and some another. The 
prefixes the, te, and mi are commonly dropped, as explained 
above, when these generic suflSxes are added. Examples are : 
Te-fuh, a dog ; fiih-pfd, a male dog ; filh-kril, a bitch. 
Tm, an elephant ; tsu-chu, a male elephant ; tm-hru, a 
cow elephant. 

(This last pair of su Sixes is used for almost all wild 

Mi-thu, a cow ; thu-dd, a bull ; thu-Jcrii, a cow. 

(This pair is commonly used for domestic animals.) 
The-vii, a fowl ; vu-dzii, a cock ; vii-kru, a hen. 

(This pair is commonly used for birds.) 

If a pronoun or adjective follows a feminine noun, it 
takes the suffix pfil, instead of u. Thus, thu-kril lu-pfil, 
that cow ; thu-kril ke-ji ka-ti lu-pfii, that good black cow. 

Number, — Number is only indicated when it is not evident 
from the context. In such a case, the singular is indicated 
by suffixing po, one, and the plural by suffixing ko. This 
ko is the plural of the suffix u used as a definite article. It 
hence invariably has a definite signification. Thus, mi-thu, 
cow or cows generally ; mi4hu po, a or one cow ; mi4hu-u, 
the cow ; mi4hu-ko, the cows. So : — 

A un-ki nu te-fiih po ngu-le 
I your-house in dog a saw, i.e., I saw a dog in 
your house. 

Te-filh-ko tele-cht 

The-dog-s catch, i.e., catch the dogs. 

The particle ko follows the noun, and if there are adjectives 
it follows them. It also follows the generic suffix, if any. 
Thus : — 

Vil-kril ka-chd hd-pfil-ko 

Hens white these, i.e,, these white hens. 

Note the irregular form ndnd, children, the plural of nd, a 

The pronouns form a dual number, which is used to form 
duals of substantives as follows : — 

No u-sdzdu u-nd mhdche shdbdwe. 

You your-brother you-two sick are, i.e., you 
and your brother are sick. 




Case, — Cases are formed by sufBxes, added to the nomina- 
tive, which remains unchanged. The accusative and 
genitive usually take no post-positions. The genitive precedes 
the noun on which it is dependent. The nominative some- 
times takes no (corresponding to the Lhota nd) when it is 
the subject of a transitive verb.^ Mr. Davis has only heard 
it used with interrogative pronouns. No is also occasionally 
used as a sufi&x of the genitive, generally with proper names. 
Nd serves the same purpose in Serna. We may also compare 
the Ao locative suffix nung. For the accusative verbs of 
asking require the suffix ki. The usual suffixes are : — 

nu^ in, to, or from. 

Id, for. 

pe, by (literally “ taking in the hand and carrying,** 
hence only used with inanimate nouns). 
ki, to, used with proper names of persons only. Proper 
names of places take no suffix in the dative. 

Examples of the various cases are the following : — 

Nominative : Themmd hd-u vor-we, 

Man this came, this man came. 
8opo-no hd-u chi4e-we ? 

Who this did ? 

Accusative : A themmd hd-u ngu4e, 

I man this saw, I saw this man. 

Po-ki ketsoche. 

Him ask. 

Po’ki rakd chdleche. 

Him monej ask-for, ask him for money. 
Instrumental : Nhd-si pe po vd pevvle-nitd-she. 

Jungle-fruit by his belly to-fill-wished, 

he wished to fill his belly with jungle-fruit. 
Dative : A tisonhd le nu tsu-yd-we, 

I daily fields to go-habitually, I go to 
the fields every day, 

Po Sdhd ki vo-te-we. 

He the-Sahib to went, he went to the 

^ There is a similiar inflection of the agent nominative with no in Serna. 





Ablative : 

Grehitive : 

Locative : 

A Kohira?- vo-te-we. 

I to-Kohima went, I went to Kohima. 

A d-sdzdu Id ktve po le-to-we. 

1 my-brother for cloth a take-will, 

I want a cloth for my brother. 

A thevd le nu vor-we. 

I at-dusk the-fields from came, I re- 

turned at dusk from the fields. 

Themmd hd-u zd, 

Man’s this name, this man’s name. 
Lhurukre-no md. 

Lhurukre’s men. 

Luvanu~no ki. 

Luvano’s house. 

No kiu-no rd md gd ? 

You what-of village man are ? 

A Kekia-no rend md po we. 

I Kekia’s village man one am. 

Le nu fhezu chdpere~we. 

Fields in rats many-are, rats abound in 

the fields. 

There are manj other such post-positions ;, mfto, 
mho-ghly on ; ii, vdkriy across ; Id-nUy according to ; dd-nUy 
between ; ki^ by ; ghl, above ; mho-dzuy before ; 5 a, 

behind ; ze, with ; krd, below ; matsd-nu, through ; sd, 

Adjectives . — ^When it is necessary clearly to distinguish 
the gender of the noun with which it agrees, the addition of 
the suflfix pfil makes an adjective feminine. Thus, the-nu 
ke-vi-pfil po, a good woman. Otherwise, adjectives undergo 
no change. An adjective follows the noun it qualifies, 
unless it is so intimately connected with the noim it qualifies 
as to form one compound word with it. Thus, themmd 
ke-vi po, a good man, but keoi-md po, a good man par excel- 
lence, i.e., a warrior. So lu-krd, that month, i.e., last month ; 
hdu-kro, this month, i.e., the present month. 

^ Kewhvra would be a better rendering of the Angami word. 




The particle of comparison is kL Thus : — 

Themma hd-u lu ki vi-we, 

Man this that than good-is, this man is better 
than that. 

Sibo hd-u pete-ko ki zhd. 

Tree this all than large, this tree is the largest 
of all. 

The numerals are given in the list of words. They follow 
the words they qualify. Thus : — 

Te-fiih ke-zhd sL 
Dogs large three, three large dogs. 

Ordinals are formed by adding u, he who is, to the car- 
dinals. Thus, po, one ; po-tt, he who is one, first. We have 
also ke-rd-Uf he who is in front, for “ first,'’ and ke-nd-u, he 
who is behind, for ‘‘ second.” 

Pronouns, — ^The following are the Personal Pronouns. 
They have a dual : — 

Singular : I No, thou Po, he, she, it. 

A, my Un, thy Po, his, her, its. 

Dual : A-vo, thou and I. U-nd, ne-nd, you two. 

Hd nd, they two, near. 

He-nd, he and I. Lu-nd, they two, distant. 

Plural : He-ko (I and you), Neko, you. 

Hd-ko, u-ko, li-ko, lu-ko, they. 
u-ko, we (I and they). 

He-ko, he, our. Ne-ko, Tie, your. Hd-ko, etc., their. 

The genitive is in most cases the same as the nominative. 
The in un, thy, is very faintly sounded. These genitives 
always precede the nouns on which they depend. Thus, 
d nupfd, my husband ; un ki, thy house. 

The Demonstrative Pronouns are : — 

Hd-u, feminine hd-pfii, this. Plural, hd-ko. 

Lu, feminine lu-pfil, that. Plural, lu-ko. 

There is no Relative Pronoun. The suffix u, he who is, 
feminine pfu, she who is, plural ko, is used instead. Thus : — 
Themma ke-vor-u. 

Man come-he-who-is, the man who is come. 

^ This is as it stands in the “ Linguistic Survey.” This n must be a 
misprint for u. 




The-nu lu hi nu ke-bd-pfii. 

Woman that house in dwelling-she-who-is, the 
woman who lives in that house. 

The Interrogative Pronouns are : — 

So-po, feminine so-pfu, who ? 

Ki-u, feminine ki-pfii, which ? adjective. 

Keji-po, kedi‘po, so-po, what ? 

The Reflexive Pronoun is formed by suflSxing the or thd, 
as d'ihe vor-we, I came myself. A-the, I myself. A-the a-, 
my own ; thus, d-ve, my property ; d4he d-ve, my own 

Verbs, — ^There are five different verbs, with different 
radical meanings, which are used to express the verb sub- 
stantive. The most common is 6a, be. The others are to, 
root meaning ‘‘ exist ’’ ; zhii, root meaning ‘‘ recline ; 
ni, root meaning ‘‘ possess ” ; td, root meaning “ stand.’' 
Verbs do not change for gender, number, or person. Tenses 
are formed by suffixes. As in other cognate languages, 
there is little or no distinction between present and past 
time. The main distinction is between time which is 
future (indicated by the suffix to) and time which is non- 
future (no special suffix). Every verbal form which contains 
a direct statement usually ends with the syllable -we, closely 
corresponding to what is called the categorical d in Munda 
languages. This syllable (which is sometimes dropped 
when no ambiguity will ensue) serves to define the verbal 
character of the word to which it is suffixed. It hence 
converts adjectives and nouns into verbs. Thus, md po, 
a man, md-po-we, (I) am a man (of such and such a village) : 
ke-vi, good ; vi-we, is good. It is most often dropped in 
the past and in the future. Two other suffixes which 
should be noted are shi and le. They do not appear to affect 
the meaning of the verb in any way. They are, however, 
generally (imless they accompany the to of the positive 
future) used with a past tense, either singly or both together. 
Some verbal roots can take either of these suffixes, while 
some affect one and some the other. The root meaning of 
shi is “ to place,” and that of le either ‘‘ to take ” or “ to go.” 
Instead of we we often meet the suffix m\ which is used in 

‘ X 




exactly the same way, and is quite as common. Thus, 
d puwe or d pum\ I speak ; d pushiwe or d pu8him\ I spoke ; 
po 80 -du vortowe or vortom\ he will come to-morrow. Subject 
to these remarks, the tenses of the Angami verb may be 
said to be formed as follows : — 

The suffix of the present, of the present definite, and of 
the imperfect is merely the categorical wL Thus, d pu-we, 
I speak, I am speaking, or I was speaking. So also in the 

A present definite is also formed by zhii^ as in si tetsu- 
zhii-we, the tree is falling. 

The suffix of the present habitual is yd-we^ as d tisonhd 
phere^yd-we, I am in the habit of walking daily. 

The suffixes of the past tenses generally are we, le-we, le, 
sM-we, or sM4e-we, as — 

A injosd po ngu-we. 

I last-year him saw, I saw him last year. 

A un-ki ke-pu mhodzii po ngu-le-we. 

I thee-to speaking before him saw, I had seen 
him when I spoke to you. 

A mhd-chi-le-we. 

I thing-ate, I have eaten. 

A po-ki pu-sM-we. 

I him-to spoke, I spoke to him. 

The sufiSx of the positive future is to-we or to. Thus, 
d vor4o-we or d vor-to, I shall come. 

The suffix of the negative future is lelho or lelho-we, as 
d vor-klho-we, 1 shall not come. 

The suffix of the future of doubt is nhid or nhd, added to 
the positive future, as d vor-to-nhid, I may come. 

The suflSx of the imperative is c/^c, as pu-che or pu-shi-che, 
speak ; vii-che, strike ; totd-che or totd-le-che, go away. In 
the third person of the imperative, the suffix bo or bu is 
added to the subject, as po-bo ki-nu vor-cAe, let him come 
into the house. 

Similarly, mi-thu-bu tizd nu le-he-che, 

cows-permit garden in enter-not- (impera- 
tive suffix), don’t let the cows into the 


Lhuruhre-bu pu-shi-che, let LhurukrS speak. 

A-bu to^torche, let me go. 

This is properly a causative or permissive particle. It 
can be attached to any noun or pronoun, and when this is 
done the verb acquires a permissive or causative sense. 
Compare causal verbs below. 

The negative imperative is formed by inserting he, as 
purhe-che or pu-sM-he-che, do not speak ; ze-che or ze4e-che, 
sleep ; ze-he-che or ze-le-Jie-che, do not sleep. When the 
suffixes shi and le are used with the positive imperative, 
and when they are not used with the negative imperative, 
the suffix che can be omitted ; to4e-che, to-shi4e-che, to-le, or 
to^shi-Ui move on ; po^ki pu-shi, tell him ; po-bu vor^he^ do 
not let him come. 

The suffix of the conditional is rd, as po vor-rd, if he should 

The suffix of the infinitive of puipose is Id added to the 
positive future, as — 

A un-hi pi4o-ld vor-we. 

I your-house to-see came, I came to see your house. 

The suffix of the future infinitive is ye added to the infini- 
tive of purpose. The whole is then conjugated as an inde- 
pendent verb, as — 

A id4o-V)-ye-we. 

I about-to-start-was, I was going to start. 

The suffix of the adverbial present participle is ki, in, the 
prefix ke being also used as explained above. Thus : — 

A de ke-pu-ki themrm lu d vii-we, 

I words speaking-in man that me struck, while 

I was speaking that man struck me. 

The suffix of the past (or conjunctive) participle is di, with 
or without the prefix ke, as — 

Po de pu-di td4e. 

He words having-spoken, went-away ; having spoken, 

he went away. Ke-zd-wd-di, having divided. 

The idea of passivity is indicated by the suffix te, which, 
if it is not followed by we, is pronounced ta ; thus, po andu 
ngu4e, he was seen yesterday. Sometimes wdte is used, as 

X 2 




a viirwa^, I was beaten, also waho, as d vii-wdho, I was beaten. 
This wd is merely an intensive infix. See below. 

The suffix te is also used with intransitive verbs, as in 
ihemmJd hdu vor-ie-we, this man has come. Ho often merely 
emphasises a verb, as in po vor-mo-ho, he has not come. 

As in other connected languages, Angami uses a large 
number of infixes which can be added to a verbal root in 
order to modify its meaning. The following are a few of 
these infixes. There are many others. 
















all, entirely 








gives an intensive 


gives emphasis^ 


mhd-chi-hu4elho-di, things to eat aU not being 

ngu-ld-lewe, found again is. 

to-me-yd, living always are. 

pevule-ni-td, to-fill desire was. 

chi-pi-tddi, arisen greatly having. 

kez^hi-pre-rd^ together-feasted all having. 

peji-pu-df lost entirely. 

ni-se-di, glad very being. 

mhd ji-td-td, things wanting entirely were. 

chi-tS-lB’di, devoured entirely having. 

tsu-wd-chS, give out and out. 

un ve zo-lS, your goods assxu*edly-are. 

The last mentioned, zo, is always used in the formula for 
oaths : d un ve regu mo-zo, I your things steal not-most- 
assuredly, I assuredly did not steal your property. 

Reciprocity is expressed by prefixing the syllable ke to 
the verbal root. Thus : mengu, desire, love ; d-vo kemengu- 
to-we, we two will love each other ; vil, beat ; kevii, mutual 
beating, to fight ; ngu, see ; kengu, to see each other, to 
meet ; hend chd-nu kengu-we^ we two met on the road ; 
J2d, share ; kezd^ to divide. 

Potentiality is indicated by the suffix leto, as in d td4eto- 
we, I can go. The negative of this is indicated by the 
suffix kaleji,^ as d td-kaleji-we, I cannot go. Here kale 
means ‘‘ physical power,” and ji is the negative verb 

^ Zo also implies the continuance of an action in the immediate present, 
e.g., Po hi nu kerzowe = “ He is coming down from his house ** (at this 
moment). The infix ya has a similar sense denoting continuance of action 
n the present. 

* Or kenniadzu, e.g., a pule kenniadzu we cannot say.'* It is to 

be noted that with this suifix the infix le is always used, whereas when 
using the other suifix kaleji (kale-dzu) it is never used. Using the latter 
** 1 cannot say » a ptt kaledzuwe, never a puiM kaledzuwe. 




substantive. Potentiality is also expressed by the words 
vi, good, and shd, bad, used with the verbal root with li. 
Thus, d thd Khonord ^ vo4e-vi mu shd-gd, I to-day Khonoma 
to-go well or bad is ? can I go to E^onoma to-day ? The 
same construction occurs in Ao with the words zung, good, 
and mdzung, bad. 

The idea of a frequentative verb is indicated by the 
sufiBx tdzo, as d td-tdzo-we, I go frequently. The same 
sufiSx signifies continued action, as in d chi-tdzo-we, I go on 

A verb becomes causal by suffixing bu or bo to the object 
(compare the third Singular Imperative). Thus po the-vo 
kwe-we, he tends or tended pigs, but d po~bu the-vo kwe-we, 
I caused him to tend pigs. 

The negative particle is mo. The tense suffix we may be 
omitted when it is used. It is suffixed to the verb, before 
we, le, or te, when they are employed. Thus, dpu-mo, I did 
not speak ; d po ngu-mo-we, I did not see him ; po betsdrwd- 
mo4e, it was not broken. When both le and we are used, 
mo comes between them, as d si-le-rm^we, I did not know. 
When both te and we are employed, mo precedes both, as 
po vor-rm-te-we, he did not come. Regarding the negative 
imperative, see above. 

Angami possesses a negative verb substantive, ji or ji-we, 
is not. Thus rakd jird neko mhd-po-ri kri-lelho-nJid, money 
not-being you anything buy-wiU-not-perhaps, if you have 
no money, you will probably not be able to buy anything. 

The interrogative particles are gd, ro and md. They are 
always placed at the end of a sentence. Od and ro are used 
with interrogative pronouns, md without. Thus : — 

No kitsd vo-to-gd (or vo4o-ro) ? 

You whither wUl-go ? where are you going ? 

No vor-to-ma ? 

You will-come ? are you coming ? 

When gd and ro are used without an interrogative pronoun, 
they must be preceded by the words mu- mo, or not, thus : — 

No le-nu tsu-to-mu-mo-gd ? 

You field-to will-go-or-not ? are you going to the field ? 

^ Better Khvmnora. 




Any word can be treated as a verbal root, and conjugated 
throughout. Thus, from fcc-vf, good, we have vi-we, it is 
good. From Jd-u, which ? d hi-to-gd^ what shall I do ? 

The word pe prefixed to an adjective converts it into an 
adverb. Thus, vi, good ; pe~vi, well. Adverbs cannot be 
treated as verbs. Thus pevileche is meaningless, and does 
not mean “ do (it) well.’’ In such cases another verbal 
root must be prefixed, as in hdu chi-pe-vi-U-cM, this make 
(chi) well, do it well. 

Order of Words, — ^The usual order is subject (with its 
adjuncts), direct object, indirect object, verb. Adverbs 
usually follow the words they qualify. When they qualify 
verbs, they usually, but not always, follow the root. Thus 
pevi is ‘‘ well ” and chi-pevi4^he means “ do it well,” 
The adverb Id, again, precedes the roots of intransitive 
verbs, and follows those of transitive ones. Thus, Idrvor-che, 
come again ; chi-ld’-shiche, do it again. 

The following specimen of the Angami Naga language is 
also taken from Grierson : — 

J^u po hi-rm sd-td, po n&nd kennd the-nu-rm 
Jesu his wife died, his children two (were) girl 

po the-pfo-md po, Md po u-nd-bu dziikhu-nu 

a boy a. Man a these-two-let the-well-from 
dzii u chi-mo-te. Vor po 

water to-draw made-not. (So they) coming their 

pu ki pu, “ Hendrbu urdrmd ' dziikhu-nu 

father to said, “ Us-two-let our villagers the-well-from 

dzii u chi-mo-te-le, hend ki-to-gd ? ” 

water to-draw make-not, we what-shall-do ? ” 

Bird Jesu, “0, mhorim-we. Md nend-bu dziikhu-nu 
And JSsu, ” O, it-is-nothing. People you-two well-from 

dzii u-mo4drrd, d dziUchu ke-sd po 

water drawing-prevent-if, I well new a 

kwershi-to-we,^^ i-di, dziikhu he-sd po kw^she. Bead 
make-shall,” saying, well new a made. Afterwards 




po ndnd dzu u tsnmuy derri dzU 

his children water to-draw went, but the-water 

krdrreniebd, Po ndnd Id ke-vor-hi 

dirty-was. His children back the-coming-at-time 

po pu-wCy “ kitoi-di nend dzii ke-hrd pfd 

he said, “ why you water dirty bringing 

vordgd ? ” ‘‘ He, drpOy ai-mo-le. 

have-come ? ” O, ojur-father, (we)-don’t-understand. 

Hend mhodzu md-po vo pe-kr d-way d-lL^^ 

Us-two before some-one going dirty-made (it)/^ 

Tidjii borhe ; md po vo-mo, Ne-tidjii-rd d 

“ lies tell-don’t ; man a went-not. You-Ue-if I 

nend vu-to-we.'' “ Hend tidjii si-rdy 

you-two shall-beat.” ‘‘Us-two lying (you)-imderstand-if, 

no kodu-d tsUy dzii u-diy vor hend 
you one-moming going, water drawing, coming us-two 

rd-chly^ i-diy po pu-ki pu-le. Po pu 
rate,*’ saying, their father-to said. Their father 

kodu-d tsu dzii-u-ahe, Dzii krd-nie-bd-rdy 
one-moming going water-got. The-water dirty-being, 

“ Hey d ndndwe ketd-we. So md dzii 
“ O, my children truth-spoke. What man the-water 

perhud-shiy^ i-diy po ^zhu po ngu chi-pfvrdiy 
dirtied-has,” saying, his shield his spear taHng, 

tm dziikhu Idzii-she,^ Bird terhdwumid tm 
going the-well watched. And goddesses descending 

dzii u-td. Ketse ke-zhd po dzii ki 
the-water drew. Stone large a the-water near 

zhii-she,^ Terhdwumid po mi pe-di 

was-lying. The-goddesses their head-ropes bringing 

ketse-gi pe-zhii-di, dzii-relutd-she.^ Jem 

the-stone-on (them)-placing, bathed. J&u 

^ This is the 9hl of reported speech mentioned above. The relater 
does not commit himself to vouching for the accuracy of the story. 




ngu-lirdi po-Tigu pe-di morpo mi Jcekdde 
seemg-(thi8) his-spear taking one’s head-rope stole. 

Kekd-pe-rd po-bd pe bd-le. Sidi 
Having-stolen-it his-seat making (it) sat. Then 

md kekri-md 
persons the-other 

“ se-vor-mo-rd' u-pipfu-md' 

“ don’t-bring-if our-parents 

u-rdHom4 dzii se-voke,'' 

“ us-will-scold water feaking-go-let-us,” 

i-di, vo4d. Po mi ke-ji-pfil, 

saying, went-off. She (her)-head-rope the-losing-one. 

“ He drkro-md, d mi ji-te-Uy’ 

“ 0 my-comrades, I (my) -head-rope have-lost,” 

si-she, derri po ke-ze^ko po kwe-mo-di vo4d. 
said, but her companions her awaiting-not had-gone. 

Po ke-ze-ko vo4d metay Jem prdr. 

Her companions had-gone as-soon-as, Jesu coming-forth 

po teseJe-ahe, Po po~ki, un zd so-po-ro ? Un 
her seized. He her-to, your name what-is ? Your 

zd pumordy d un mi Idshi 

name (you)-tell-don’t-if, I your head-rope back 

un-tsii’lelho-wey*^ i-diy lu-pfily “ d pu-shi-to-wBy 

you-give-will-not,” saying, she, “ I shall-tell (you), 

d zd Vihuju-wV^ 8ird Jemy no d ki-md 

my name Vihuju-is.” And Jesu, “ you my wife 

chi-to-rdy d un mi Idshi un-tsil-to-we/’ 
will-become-if,I your head-rope back to-you-give-shall.” 

Oh sirdy d un kiTmchi-to-wBy^ i-diy Jemy 
0 then, I your wife wdl-be,” saying, Jesu (said), 

‘‘ kwly d-vo u-ki vo-to-kV^ 

** come, us-two house-to go-let.” 




Free Translation of the Foregoing. 

How Jesu got a Ooddess for his Wife. 

Jgsu’s wife died, leaving him two children, a daughter and 
a son. Someone would not let these two draw water from 
the (village) well, so they came and said to their father, “ Our 
viUagers would not let us get water from the well. What 
shall we do ? ’’ Then Jesu said, “ 0, never mind, I will 
make a new well for you,” and accordingly made a new 
well. Afterwards his children went for water, but the water 
was all muddy, and when the children came back, their 
father said, “ Why have you brought dirty water ? ” They 
replied, ‘‘ 0 father, we don’t know. Somebody has been 
there before us and has dirtied the water.” (Jesu said) 
“ Don’t tell lies, no one has been there. If you teU me lies, 
I will beat you.” ‘‘ (All right),” they said, ‘‘ if you say we 
are lying, go one morning and get water, and then come back 
and rate us.” So their father went one morning and got 
water. He found the water dirty and said, O, my children 
spoke the truth. Who has dirtied the water ? ” So taking 
shield and spear, he went and watched the water. And (as 
he watched) goddesses came down and drew water. There 
was a big stone at the edge of the well, and the goddesses 
put down their head-ropes (i.e. head bands used for carrying 
loads) on the stone and bathed. Jesu, on seeing this, stole 
away a head-rope, and after stealing it, sat upon it. Then 
the rest exclaiming, 

“ If water (quick) we do not bring. 

Our parents will us rate,” 

went away. And she who had lost her head-rope cried out, 
“ 0, comrades, wait for me, I can’t find my head-rope.” 
But her comrades had gone without waiting for her. When 
her companions had all gone, Jesu came forth and seized 
her, saying, “ What is your name ? Unless you tell me 
your name, I won’t give you back your head-rope.” She 
(replied), “ I will tell you, my name is Vihuju.” Then Jesu 
said, my wife, and I will give you back your head-rope.” 




(She replied) “ O then, I •will be your •wife.” Jesu (then 
said), ” Come along, let us go home.” 

The Angami numerals given here and the notes on tonal 
distinctions which follow are taken from McCabe’s Grammar. 


1 . po, 

2. kennd. 

3. 8^. 

4. dd. 

6. pangu. 

6. euru, 

7. ihend, 

8. thethd. 

9. tekimi. 

10. kerr. 

1 1. kerr o pokro. 

12. kerr o kennd. 

13. kerr o si. 

14. kerr o dd. 

16. kerr o pangu, 

16. kerr o suru. 

17. mekwii pemo thend.^ 

18. mekwii pemo thethd,^ 

19. mekwii pemo tekwii.^ 

20. mekwii. 

21. mekwii pokr6. 

22. mekwu kennd, etc., etc. 

27. aerr perrw ihend. 

28. serr pemo thethd. 

29. aerr pemo tekwil. 

30. aerr. 

31. aerr o pokro. 

32. serr o kennd, etc., etc. 

37. Ihidd pemo ihend, etc., etc. 

40. Jih%/da. 

47. Ihi pangu pemo ihend, etc., etc. 
50. Ihi pangu. 

57. Ihi auru pemo ihend, 

60. Ihi auru. 

67. Ihi thend pemo thend. 

70. Ihi thend. 

77. Ihi thethd pemo thend, 

80. Ihi thethd, 

87. Ihi tekwu pemo thend. 

90. Ihi tekwu. 

97. krd pemo thend, 

100. krd. 

101. krd di po or krd mu po. 

1000. nii po. 

Notes on the Numerals. 

Eleven == Kerr o pokro. 

The word krd means “ added to/' ‘‘ increased/' “ more," 
e.g, “ Give me one more " ~ po d rekroshiche. 

Seventeen = Mekwii perm thend. 

Lit. The seven falling short of the twenty, of. The 
money falls short of what I want = Rakd d kechdu 

Thirty = Serr — ^most likely a contracted form of se kerr = 
“ three ten." 

One hundred and one = Krd mu po, kra di po. 

Mu and di are equivalent to “ and." Di is really the 
particle used in forming the past conjunctive par- 
ticiple : Vordi = having come. 

^ The straightforward method, e.g. kerr o ihend, etc., is now supplcmting 
the old method by degrees. 





“ Like the Chinese and many of the so-caUed Lohitic 
languages, which are stiU in a very primitive stage of the 
agglutinating class, Angami Naga is peculiarly rich in 
intonation. In illustration of this statement I append a 
few examples showing the variety of meaning a simple word 
may have. I have not attempted to mark tones, or emphasis ; 
these can only be learnt by ear, and the beginner can always 
avoid mistakes by using qualifying words to render his 
meaning clear. 



Ki ... 

m ... 

Mi ... 

Zhd. . . 

I Wild animal ; 

( head. 
j To eat ; 

-! to do ; 

[ pain. 

( House ; 
place ; 
than ; 
season ; 

r Pleased ; 

\ loin-cloth. 
fFire ; 

■j tail ; 
y root. 





Kro .. 
Le ... 


rOold ; 

-[ to know ; 
y wood. 

? Clothes ; 

J voice ; 

1 meaning ; 
y to await, 
f To wash ; 

\ to buy. 
f To take ; 

\ field ; 

( warm. 

J To close ; 

\ steep. 
fTiger ; 

I fields ; 

1 grasshopper ; 
y jew’s ha^. 

‘‘ Many Nagas will tell you that there is a marked difference 
in the intonation of these words, but for one Naga who 
clearly marks these tonal distinctions, twenty fail to do so.’*^ 

Kezama and Memi. 

The following notes on the Kezama and Memi languages 
together with the specimen of the latter are also taken 
verbatim from Sir George Grierson’s “ Linguistic Survey of 
India,” where, however, the notes on Kezama are given 
somewhat tentatively. 

^ Similar distinctions of meaning according to tone are equally common 
in Serna and Chang, but they are usually well marked in pronunciation. 

3i6 the ANGAMI NAGAS part 

“ Kezama. 

‘‘ Nouns have a prefix e, corresponding to the Serna and 
Bengma d, which was originally the pronoun of the third 
person and means ‘ his/ but often has the force only of the 
definite article, or even has no meaning whatever, as in 
e-ne rm-chu, a distant town. Corresponding to the Angami 
relative suffix we have o, as in Icachii-o, he who was the 
younger. The Angami ma, person, is represented by mi, 

“ In nouns, the nominative singular takes the suffix nyi 
before transitive verbs, corresponding to the Lh5ta nd. As 
in that language, the suffix can be omitted when no ambiguity 
will ensue. Thus, hachu-o-nyi pUy the younger said ; but 
pUy not pu-nyiy gwo-ld, he went. 

“ The genitive, as in other cognate languages, takes no 
termination, and precedes the governing noun, as in su e-ne 
mi kele ke, that town’s man one’s house, the house of a man 
of that town. 

“ The dative takes the suffibc nhdy as in e-pfii-nhdy to his 

‘‘ The locative takes cAe, as in e-ld-chcy in the field, and dzo 
means ‘ with,* as in krokromu-dzoy with harlots. 

“ The sign of the plural is, as in Angami, ko, 

“ As regards pronouns, we have the following forms : — 

“ Yeotiyeyl \ dim-kOyWe, The word means ‘ property,’ 
as in drvey my property, but is also used to give the force of 
various oases to the personal pronouns, as in d-ve, with me. 
Ay by itself, is used as a prefix meaning ‘ my,’ as in d-pfiiy^ 
my father. 

** Noy * thou ’ and ‘ you ’ ; used as a prefix, i means 
‘thy,’ as in i-pfiiy^ thy father; thy property, with 

thee ; no i-ve means ‘ thy son.’ 

“ Puy he ; dwu-ko means ‘ they ’ as well as ‘ we.’ The 
prefix is c or pu, as in e-pfiiy^ his father ; pu-vcy his property. 
Pu-iy apparently for pu-vcy is ‘ to him ’ ; pu-nMy to him. 
The nominative before transitive verbs is pu-nyi. 

“ Suy that ; At, this ; tu-Oy who ? di, what ? 

“ As to verbs, we have 6d, is, was. Adjectives take verbal 
terminations, as in virdy it is good. . . . 

* Or ‘pvo. 




The usual suffix of the past tense isna,as in paUrnat gave ; 
chii-ndy as well as cM, did. Sometimes we find Id, as in 
gwo4d, went ; e-nyi-ld, was happy. Another suffix is d or 
wd, as in pu^d, said ; gwo-d, has come ; me4ho-wd, has given 
food. Finally, there are several instances in which no 
suffix is used, as in the present. Thus, pu, said ; gwo, went ; 
chii, did. 

The suffix of the future is dd,as inpie-dd, will say ; e-nyi-dd, 
will be happy. 

“ The suffix of the imperative seems to be ne, as in p$ii-ne, 

“ The usual suffix of the conjunctive participle is ngi^ as in 
ngu-ngi, seeing. There is also pfd in ke-ze-pfd, dividing ; 
tne-lo-pfd, sending. 

“ Kd-ke-ld seems to be an infinitive of M, call. 

“ The causal suffix, corresponding to the Angami bu, is 
probably Id, as in pu-e-ld md-pfu-lo, cause him to wear. 

The following are examples of negatives rpste- mo, gave not; 
pye-mo~td, I am not worthy ; e-nyi-mo, was not happy ; 
liu-mu-bd, did not wish ; mo-id- m>4io, transgressed not ; 
psu . . . mo, gavest not. We have also Jio-td, was not ; 
to-hue-hotd, who cannot eat, the root to meaning ‘ eat.’ 

‘‘ Memi. 

“ Prefixes and Suffixes. — ^The otiose prefix u is very com- 
mon. It corresponds to the prefix u of Angami, and to the 
d, e or d, which we find in Mkir and in many of the Naga 
languages, including Serna and Lh5ta. As elsewhere, it is 
dropped when the noun to which it is prefixed is preceded 
by a possessive case. Thus unnd, son, but ni-nd, your son. 
It should be noted that, as in this instance, the first con- 
sonant of a noun is often doubled after the u. Thus unnd is 
equivalent to u-nd ; ubbd, a hand, for u-bd. This prefix, 
as in the other languages, originally meant ‘ his,’ and still 
often does so. Thus u-chi means both ‘ house ’ and ‘ his 

“ In the case of nouns of relationship a is often used instead 
of u, a properly means ‘ my.’ Thus a-pu,^ my father, or, 
1 Or perhaps -pvfl. 




simply, ‘ father/ We have both a-pu^ and u-pu^ meaning 
‘ father ’ ; a-pu^^ my father ; u-puy^ his father ; and 
(with the prefix dropped) ni-pu^^ your father. A good 
example of the use of these prefixes and of the way in which 
they are dropped is in ni-pu^ chi4e, in your father’s house. 
Here * house ’ is u-chi. The prefix is dropped because the 
word is preceded by the genitive ni-pu. In ni-pu, the prefix 
a or of a-pu or u-pu has been dropped for similar reasons. 

“ Just as adjectives in Angami Naga take the prefix ke, 
so in Mao they take ka or fed. Thus kayi^ good ; kasi, bad ; 
kakrd, white. 

Note the use of the word mai, meaning ‘ person,’ which 
is frequently employed like the Hindustani wdld. Thus 
chi-le-mai (? the man in the house), a slave ; utdkata-mai, a 
cultivator. It is the same as the Angami md. 

“ Nouns. 

“ Oender . — ^Noims of relationship, as usual, have special 
words to indicate gender. Thus : — 

a-pUy father. a-pe, mother. 

pU-to-mai, man. ni-to-mai, woman. 

nd-pu-to-mai, son. undmoni-to-mai, daughter. 

‘‘ In other cases fodo^ usually means male, and km (Angami 
krii), female. Thus kuri fodo, a horse ; kuri kru^ a mare. 
Variations of this are : — 

u-si silOy a dog. u-si sikru, a bitch. 

u-khro fodo, a male deer. u-khro tu-kru, a female deer. 

** Number , — The usual plural suffix is inui, all, as in apu- 
inuiy fathers. Pronouns take km, and connected with 
this appears to be pu-tormi kdyi krohi, good men, the plural 
of pu4ormi kdyi. In uund-bM-hi, to his two sons, we have a 
rudimentary dual. 

^^Caae. — As in Lhota Naga, the Nominative takes nd 
(corresponding to the Kezhdmd nyi) when it is the subject 
of a transitive verb. This nd is also occasionally used with 

^ Or perhaps -pvH. 

• Cf. Serna (a)du, though this is used only for birds. The Serna female 
termination for all beings is (a)khu. 




the verb substantive, and with intransitive verbs, but not 
as a rule. Thus always yi-na ddi, I strike ; but yi-nd soe, 
I am ; yi nole, I shall be ; ihru-nd tdwe, we went ; nilekru 
tdwe, you went. Other examples are : — 
nonau-nd pe-e, the younger said. 
u-pu-nd koju-pie, his father divided. 
ni-thehu (not ihehu-nd) khewcy — ni-pu-na (not ni-pvi) 
koto koso piwe, your brother has returned, — ^your 
father has given eating and drinking (f.e., a feast). 

“ This nd is, properly speaking, the suffix of the Instru- 
mental case, so that sentences in which they are used are 
really passive constructions. Nonau-nd pe-e is literally ‘ by 
the son it was said.’ In the pronouns, no is sometimes 
used instead of nd. 

“ The Accusative takes no suffix, as in u-nd koju-pie, he 
divided his wealth. Here nd means ‘ wealth ’ and is not 
the nominative suffix. 

“The suffix of the Instrumental is nd, as in ubba-ndpoe, 
(we) hold (two spears) by means of our hands. 

“ The usual suffix of the Dative is hi, as in apu-hi pee, (he) 
said to his father ; unnd-Jia-hi koju-pie, he divided to his 
two sons. Sometimes we find the instrumental suffix nd 
or no used for this case. Thus, mai kali~nd, to one man 
(there were two sons) ; ma kali-no, (he went) to a man. 

“Motion towards is usually indicated by le-khe, as in ido 
le-khe, (sent him) to the field ; u-chi le-khe, (as he came) to 
the house. Sometimes the locative suffix le is used, as in 
iniu kali-le, he went to {literally, in) a country. 

“ The suffix of the Ablative is hi-d, as in a-pu-hi-d, from the 
father. Note, however, po-hino, (take) from him ; ubbaletino, 
(draw water) from the well. 

“ The Genitive takes no suffix. It is simply prefixed to the 
noun signifying the thing possessed. Thus a-pu child- mai-nd, 
my father’s servants. In the pronouns, chu is sometimes 
used as a genitive suffix. 

“ The sign of the Locative is le, as in u-chi-le, in the house ; 
ido-le, in the field. ‘ On ’ is khe, as in ubbd-khe, on his 
hand ; upfiwd-khe, on his feet. Cha-he lode is translated 
‘ to enter in the house.’ 




** Adjectives. 

“ These usually, but not always, follow the nouns they 
qualify. They do not change for gender or number. When 
a case suffix is added to the noun, it comes after the adjective. 
The adjective prefix is ha (compare Angami and Mikir he), 
kuri kakrd, the white horse. 

piUomai hdyi kali, a good man, lit. man good one. 
nitomai kdyi kali, a good woman. 
putormi kdyi kali-hi, to a good man. 
putomai kdyi krolu-ln, to good men. 

** The following are examples of comparison : — 
kdyi, good. 

kahe kono ka-li-yi, better {kdhe means ‘ two ’). 
mainiu kono kaliyi, best. 
usd pdji kdyi, very excellent coat. 
atukru, high. 

kdhe kono kali atukru, (two than one high), higher. 
mainiu kono kali atukru, (all than one high), highest. 

‘‘ Pronouns. 

“ The Personal Pronouns are yi, I; ni, thou ; and hana 
or po (as in Angami), he, she, it. 

“ First Person. — ^The nominative is yi before intransitive 
verbs. Thus, yi mde or yi-u mdute, I sinned. Before 
Transitive verbs, the form is yi-nd. This pronoun has a 
form di, which is used as an oblique form. Thus, di ddi, 
beats me, I am beaten. Ai pikorosa, to be received by me. 
AhS, kud, is translated ‘ with me.’ The genitive is a, which 
is used as a prefix. Thus a-pu, my father ; a-nd, my wealth ; 
annd, my son. In the last example (as in unnd referred to 
under the head of prefixes) the initial n of nd is doubled 
after the prefix. 

“ The plural is i~kru (-nd). ‘ We Mao people ’ is im-nverm. 

drchu pewd, my. 
yi, mine. 

ikro-chu, of us. . . . 
inile-kru, our. . . . 


Second Person. — ^The nominative is ni or ne before 
intransitive verbs, as ni-u aha hUd chithiuchilcro-bde, thou 
dwellest ever with me. Before transitive verbs we have 
ne-nd, as nend koto koso piwe, thou gavest a feast. Sometimes 
we find ne-no instead of ne-nd. In ni pimoe, thou didst not 
give, the suffix nd is not used, though a transitive verb 

“ So we have in an interrogative sentence ne ti the-hino 
hrali-ndy from whom did you buy that ? The oblique form 
of this pronoun, which is also used as a genitive prefix, is 
ni. Thus we have : — 

ni-ju, your name. 
ni-pu, your father. 

ninnd (with the n of na doubled), your son* 

ni-nd, your wealth. 

ni 4 hehUy your brother. 

ni-wd, your service. 

ni-chu, your word. 

m-Al, ... to you. 

ni-Jadt . . . before you. 

A genitive absolute is nih, yours, in a-nd inui kabbusa 
nilo pile, whatever is mine is thine. With this are connected 
most of the following forms : — 

ni-et (nom.), thou. 
ni-chu, thy. 

ni-ye, thine (? it is thine). 
aiU’kru, you, your. 
nile-kru-chu^ of you. 

“ The suffix u added to these pronouns gives definiteness, 
as in yi-u mom thinobude, whereas I die of hunger ; ni-w ahu 
kud chithiuchikro-boe, you on the one hand dwell with me 
(while your brother, etc.), 

“ Third Person. — This is hana or po. The nominative is 
hana (-na), as in hana-nd annoe, he asked. The accusative 
is hana, as in hana rmtda, sent him. So we have for the 
genitive harva thihu, his sister ; hana kena, his wife ; but the 
most usual word for ‘ his ’ is the prefix u, as in u-pu-nd u-nd, 
his father (divided) his wealth. So (with doubled n as 





usual) urma^ his son. This u has in many cases become quite 
otiose. See the remarks on prefixes. Hana-chu is ‘of 

“ From the base po, we have po-hiw> polo, take from him ; 
poe fulo, bind him ; po-he hahe, from among those two ; 
poile-kru, they ; poiU-kru, their ; poile^kru-chu, of them. 

‘‘The following are examples of Demonstrative pronouns : — 

^^This: — kuri-he, this horse ; anna hana-he, this my son ; 
kasha-he, this rupee. 

“ Ha-doru>, sa-dono, for this reason ; sa-chu, (hearing) this 
word ; sa-fhecha, therefore. 

“ That : — kasha ti, those rupees ; ne ti ihe-hino hrali-nd, 
from whom did you buy that ? iniu le ti, in that country 
(note the position of the demonstrative after the case sufiix). 

“ Mai chi-nd, that man (sent him) ; sato ka-chi-the, at that 
time ; mai cha-nd chowdsod bvli se, that man can live 

“ Interrogatives are : — nethiye, who ? the-hino, from whom 
(did you buy that) ? ade, what ? ni-ju thete, what is your 
name ? ada-soe, what is (this) ? ada-le, why ? chiwe, how 
many (years) are there ? chm boe, how many (sons) are 
there (in your father’s house) ? 

“ The only instance of a Reflexive pronoun is hana~nd 
allid pee, he said to himself. 

“ Verbs. 

“ The verb substantive is so, be. 

“ The following forms have been noted : — 

yi soe, I am. 
yi soe, I was. 
yi note, I shall be. 
yi solise, I may be. 

ni-nd so, (fit) to be your son ; ido4e cho-e (alternate spelling 
for ao-e), he was in the field. We have also nilo pile, is 
thine, and (a compound with bd or bd, to remain) so-bvAe, 
let us remain. 

“An example of the negative Verb Substantive is rmi-rm-e, 
(I) am not (fit). 




As in other cognate languages, the sense of time in the 
Finite Verb is very loosely felt. Once a tense base is formed, 
it does not seem to change for number or person. . . . 

‘‘ In order to show how loosely the temporal suffixes are 
used, I here give (a) the future of the verb da, strike, and 
(6) the present of the verb id, go. It will be seen that, as 
given in the list of words, the conjugations are practically 

(a) I shall strike, etc. 

(b) I go, 


















The following is the way in which the various tenses are 

formed : — 

Present. — ^The suffix is e (Angami we), sometimes 
written i. Thus, bde, (he) lives ; hhoe, (he) is pastur- 
ing ; toe, (they) eat ; poe, (we) hold (spears in our 
hands) ; ddi, (he) strikes ; after vowels, a euphonic w 
is sometimes inserted, as dd-w-e, (I) am striking. 
Sometimes the suffix de of the past is used, as in 
bu’de, (he) remains (serving the God) ; Ichai-de, (he) 
is kept (like a slave). So thi-no bu-de, am about to 
die, literally, am in a condition to die. 

“ We also find the future form used, as in td4e, (I) go ; 
nide, (he) is found. 

Imperfect. — ^The only example is dd-hhe, (I) was striking. 

Past. — ^The usual suffix is e (Angami we) — ^the same as 
in the present ; thus following cognate languages. 
Examples are pe-e or (with euphonic w) pe-w-e, (he) 
said ; pi-e, pi-w-e, (he) gave (compare Icoju-pie, 
(he) divided) ; rmhoe, (he) wasted ; rmmi'y-e 
(euphonic y), (he) became wretched ; koaziUe, (he) 
went and joined ; wel-e, (he) came ; md-e, (I) have 
sinned ; chol-e, (he) heard ; anme, he asked ; khe-tv-e, 
(he) has returned ; lobbo-e, he refused ; za-w-e, (he) 
entreated ; td-w-e, (we) went ; hrahe, (I) bought. 
The forms of the past of td, go, are very instructive : 

Y 2 




we have, tSrW-e, (we, they) went; tdwe-tod, (you) 
went ; ti-tdwe^ (I) went ; td4ewd, (and td-de), (he) 
went ; ti-tdlewd, thou wentest. The verb dd, strike, 
inserts 66. Thus dd-bb-e, (I) struck ; dd-bb-ewe, 
(thou) struckest ; but dai, (he, we, you, they) struck. 

The syllable de (Angami te) is also used to form the 
past, as in td-de, (he) went (to a far country) ; dd-u-de 
(with inserted u), (I) have struck (his son). With the 
last compare md-u-te or md-e, (I) have sinned. 

Other forms of the Past are mono, (two sons) were 
bom ; maid-a, he caused to go, sent ; maki, he 

Perfect , — ^The only true perfect which I have met is 
formed by compounding the verb with the auxiliary, 
as in td- 80 -e, (I) have walked (a long way to-day). 

Pluperfect , — ^This is the same as the Past. 

Future , — ^The sujBSx is le, as in dd-le, (I) shall strike ; 
node, (I) shall be ; pe-Ze, (I) shall say ; so-bude, let 
(us) remain. 

Present Subjunctive, — Ti sodi-se is translated ‘I may 
be,* and yi-nd dd-se, I may strike. 

Imperative , — ^The following forms occur : — pi-yo, pi-yu, 
give ; tho-piyu, place ; poho, take ; ful^o, bind ; 
sithepal-d, draw water ; ddo, strike ; tdo, go ; hot-o, 
eat ; hebb-u, sit ; Mk-o, come ; dldch-o, stand ; 
mos-o, take (me for a servant). Other forms are 
thiye, die ; tu, run ; ponobd, cause to wear. 

Verbal Nouns, etc , — Suffix d. — ho-d, (rice) being dear (he 
became wretched) ; 6w-d, (a man) who lived (in that 
coimtry) ; ichu td-d, arising (up going) (he went to 
his father) ; pvrw-d, bringing (the best garment 
clothe him) ; to-d sodd, eating drinking (let us 
remain) (compare koto koso below) ; thi-d, having 
died (is alive again) ; kule-d, calling (a servant) ; 
sa-chol-d, hearing (this) ; pi-d, giving (to harlots has 

Suffix Zi-d. — nidi-d, having found (him, they 
rejoiced) ; thedi-u (? thidi-d), when-dead (we hold 
two spears). 




Suffix Zi-e. — dd-U-e, strikmg, having struck ; ka-li-e^ 
after (some da 3 rs) remaining. 

Sufc o. — po-td-di-y-o, having gone (he wasted his 
substance) ; ichape4i-y-Oy becoming sensible (he said 
to himself) ; khol-Oy embracing (he kissed him). 

Suffix U. — poi-Uy carrying (his wealth to a far 

Suffix the. — woi-they at the time of coming ; 
h0’ka4i4hey when (all) had been wasted ; td-kochi4he, 

Other forms. — td-TcOy running (he kissed him) ; 
kho-tOy (he sent him) to pasture (swine) ; td-nOy 
going ; thi~no bu-de, I am about to die ; ko-tOy food, 
rice ; ko-to ko-so (compare to-d so4d above) 
gave food and drink. 

Passive Voice. — ^The force of the passive is thus 
expressed : — di ddi, beats me, i.e.y I am beaten. 

Causal Verbs. — ^The following are probably causals : 
mo-ho-Cy he caused to waste, he wasted ; ma-td-ay he 
caused (him) to go, he sent (him to the field) ; mo-soy 
cause to be, make. 

Interrogative Sentences. — ^The interrogative particle is 
ndy corresponding to the Kachcha Naga me, and the 
Angami gdy ro or md. Thus, hral-i-ndy (from whom) 
did you buy (that) ? 

Negative Sentences. — ^The negative particle is two, as 
in Angami. Examples are pi-mo-Cy (anyone) gave 
not ; ni (not ne-nd) jpi-T/io-e, thou gavest not ; 
pUhoki-mOy (I) did not disobey ; fa-pi-moy he is not 
released. Note that the negative follows the word 

Specimen op Memi Language.^ 

Im meme theli-d ehu kdfhe ubbdnd poe. 

We Mao-people when-dead spears two hands-by hold. 

ShU Ordme Pekujikhe file. FHilid 

Spears the-God Pekujikhe is-for-piercing. If-able-to-pierce 

^ This is also taken direct from Sir George Grierson’s “Linguistic 





















Feli Icohromaind Ordme PekujikJie uhruao 

To-pierce who-cannot-man God Pekujike serving 

bade, childmai sod hhaide, find fapimo. 

remains, slave like is-kept, ever is-not-released. 

Ordmai hana pi jisue, hota rmicha. Harm, Jcend, 
God’s that head is-very-big, beard grows. His wife, 

‘ ochu rrmi nolo mai hai adasono mathiwe' 

‘ aged man young man as-well-as why are-killed,’ 

annoL ‘ Maina hososi miya to mirm to, Mai 
asked. ‘ Men chillies old eat unripe-also eat. Man 

thefrd yid ochu mai nolo mai hai fue,' sata 
following I-also old man young man also catch,’ saying 

Ordme hanand pe-e, 

God that said. 

“ Free Translation of the Foregoing. 

When any one of us Mao people dies, two spears are put 
into his hand. These are for piercing the God Pekujikhe. 
If the dead man can pierce him, he is allowed to live happily 
in the God’s country. If he cannot pierce him, he has to 
become a servant to Pekujikhe. He is kept like a slave, 
and is never released. 

“ This God’s head is very big, and he has a beard. His 
wife once asked him why he killed young people as well as 
old. He replied, ‘ Men cut chillies both unripe and ripe, 
and after their example I catch both young men and old 

J 99 


In order to show the close relation between the languages 
of the tribes classed in this monograph as the Western 
group (see Appendix III), a comparative list of words is given 
on pp. 328 and 329. Of these words the Tengima are taken 
from McCabe, the Memi, Kezami, Tseminyu Bengma, and 
Lhota from Grierson, except for the words marked^" which 
are added by the writer. The Serna and Isenikotsenu 




Rengma lists are also added by the writer. Sir G. Grierson 
gives no vocabulary of the latter, and his vocabulary of the 
former is based on the Lazemi dialect, which is only spoken 
by a small group of villages in the Doyang Valley and 
understood with difficulty by the vast majority of Sernas. 
It will be noticed how the two Rengma languages together 
link on Lhota to Angami and Serna. 

Naga Assamese 

The subject of language would hardly be complete 
without a few remarks on the “ pigeon ” Assamese, which 
forms the lingua franca of the Naga Hills, and through the 
medium of which most of the information necessary for this 
monograph has been collected. 

The Assamese spoken in the Naga Hills is a bastard tongue 
which varies a good deal. “ S ” and “ ch are given the 
English quality as a rule, instead of being pronounced “ h ” 
and “ s ” respectively as in the Assam Valley, and a large 
number of Bengali, Hindustani, English, and even Naga 
words are in common use. The first and second personal 
inflexions of the verbs are generally disregarded in favour 
of the third person, and Naga idioms and Naga constructions 
are commonly put literally into Assamese. A good instance 
of this is in the Serna trick of saying in Assamese ‘‘ I spoke 
in his direction'' (GY^ VT^) to translate the Serna 
idiom ''pa vile pi spoke to him,” but such “ dog ” 

Assamese is in equally common use among the Angamis 
and other tribes of the district. Such alterations also as 
that of okra (= “ crazy ”) into wokra are very common, and 
the plural number is largely ignored. 

Naga Assamese, though a somewhat clumsy vehicle of 
conversation, is very easy to pick up and with a little applica- 
tion can be spoken perfectly — ^provided the learner has no 
previous knowledge of real Assamese. It is, moreover, an 
excellent vehicle for the expression of Naga turns of speech 
and thought, and therefore infinitely better as a medium for 
conversing to Nagas than Hindustani, or even English, would 
be, being capable, as it is, of representing almost the precise 
shade of meaning required. 






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. ^ "iS-S ^ o ‘oi 

i S S 2 o I© *2 td a '* 'H 'S 

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Es -P 3-S 






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trg w 


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alis^llssl ilia^Sl'c 






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anga is the same as the Serna word for “ infant.’ 


I. Bibliography. 

II. Notes on the Memi. 

III. Notes on Non-Angami Tribes of the Naga Hills. 

IV. Of Totemism. 

V. Of the Family. 

VI. Rainmaking Gennas. 

VII. Of Celts and Stones in general. 

VIII. Astronomical. 

IX. Orientation of the Dead and of Houses. 

X. Angami (Tengima) clans. 

XI. Anthropometrical. 

XII. Glossary. 



Although there are a number of books dealing directly or 
indirectly with the tribes inhabiting the Naga Hills, those 
that deal with the Angamis are not numerous, and are the 
reverse of exhaustive. The list given here contains the names 
of the books and articles dealing with the Angamis to which 
I have had access, together with the names of works dealing 
with other Naga tribes, which have been referred to in this 
monograph. The list is a very short one, and a few notes 
have been added with the object of indicating as far as 
possible the relative value of the authorities, which varies 

1. ‘‘Travels and Adventures in the Province of Assam,” 
Major John Butler. Smith, Elder & Co., 1855. 

2. “ Rough Notes on the Angami Nagas,” by Capt. John 
Butler, son of Major Butler. Journal of the Asiatic Society^ 
Part I, No. IV, 1875. 

Capt. Butler is by far the most valuable of the printed authorities on 
the Tengima Angamis, dealing as he does with the tribe at a period when 
they were in a warlike condition now already half forgotten. Capt. 
Butler’s notes are not voluminous, but contain, as also do Major Butler’s, 
a good deal of information as to the practice of war by the Angamis, 
which is no longer obtainable from the people themselves. Major Butler’s 
“ Sketch of Assam ” (Smith, Elder, 1847) contedns some formation, 
probably second-hand, about Konyak tribes. 

3. “ Notes on the Wild Tribes inhabiting the so-called 
Naga-Hills.” Colonel Woodthorpe. Journal of the Anthropo- 
logical Institute, August to November, 1881. 

Colonel Woodthorpe’s notes contain some excellent drawings and the 
letterpress is valuable in so far as it is a rimmi of Capt. Butler’s “ Ilo\igh 
Notes.” Colonel Woodthorpe’s dangerous distinction between the 
” Kilted ” and “ Non-kilted ” tribes does not appear in Capt. Butler’s 




4. “The Naga Tribes of Manipur.” T. C. Hodson. 
Macmillan & Co., 1911. 

This contains much information as to the Memi and Marami Nag6U9, 
the former of which, if not the latter, may be regarded as divisions of 
Angami to whom they are undoubtedly very closely allied. The Memis 
immediately on the Angami border are so closely connected with the 
Chakrima and Kezama Angamis as to make it possible to speak of these 
three tribes together as “ Eastern Angamis,” but for the Memi and the 
Marami in general Mr. Hodson is the authority, and I have not presumed 
in this monograph to trespass much upon his demesne. 

6. I have had the use in writing this monograph of some unpublished 
notes on the Memis by Major Kennedy, formerly D.c. of the 
Naga Hills District, as well as some valuable notes by Colonel J. Shake* 
spear, which are reproduced in the Appendix. 

6. “ Narrative of an Expedition into the Naga Territory 
of Assam.” Lt. G. R. Grange. Journal of the Asiatic Society, 

7. “ Extracts from the Journal of an Expedition into the 
Naga Hills on the Assam Frontier.” Lt. G. R. Grange. 
Jcmnml of the Asiatic Society, 1840. 

8. “ Extract from a Report of a Journey into the Naga 
Hills in 1844.” Browne Wood. Journal of the Asiatic Society, 

These three contain occasional references to Angami customs, but 
are principally taken up with details of military or political importance 
and are likely to be of comparatively small value to the anthropologist. 

9. “ Fading Histories.” S. E. Peal. Journal of the Asiatic 
Society, 1894. 

10. Human Sacrifices in Ancient Assam.” E. A. Gait. 
Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1898 (p. 56). 

These authorities contain some references to the Naga tribes in general, 
and the latter contains a valuable note from Mr. Davis relative to the 
Angamis which has been quoted in full in the text of this monograph 
(Part m). 

11. “Census of Assam, 1891,” Vol. I, pp. 237-251. 
A. W. Davis, Assam Secretariat, Shillong, 1892. 

Mr. Davis in his notes here deals with the Nagas in general and not with 
any particular tribes, so that it must not be assumed, unless explicitly 
stated, that his remarks hold good of any Naga tribe in particular. 
Mr. Davis, however, had a very intimate acquaintance with the Naga Hills, 
and his observations carry considerable weight. 



12. “ Notes on the Naga Tribes in Communication with 
Assam.” Owen. Carey & Co., Calcutta, 1884. 

These notes have been referred to in one instance in this volume. They 
deal with the Konyak tribes, and not with any of the tribes to the south 
of Tamlu and the neighbouring Konyak villages. 

13. “ The Tribes of the Brahmaputra Valley.” Lt.-CoL 
L. A. Waddell, I.M.S., Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal, Part III, 1900. 

These accounts contain a great deal of anthropometrical data, and some 
excellent photographs, but the letterpress, in so far at any rate as it deals 
with Naga tribes, contains a number of inaccuracies and in some cases 
is misleading. It is, for instance, quite wrong to speak of Naga tribes 
as “ endogamous.” Not one of the nine tribes with which I am fairly 
well acquainted attaches the least importance to endogamy. Wherever 
two tribes march intermarriage is common, while tribal endogamy is 
really practised only where the force of geographical circumstances 
compels it. 

14. “ Ethnography of Nagas of Eastern Assam.” W. H. 
Furness, Journal of the Anthrop. Institute, Vol. XXXII, 

Accoimt necessarily rather superficial but good in some points on Aos, 
Rengmas and Konyaks (miscalled Miri in the article), in spite of some 
inaccuracies such as regarding the Chongli and Mongsen divisions of the 
Aos as exogamous units, while a bad mistake is made in confusing the 
people of Chima, a Konyak village, with the Serna tribe. This is probably 
due to Assame interpreters who si^eak of the Konyaks of Chima as “ Sima.** 

15. “ Naga and other Tribes of N.E. India.” Miss G. M. 
Godden, Journal of the Anlhrop, Institute, Vol. XXVI. 

A resume of information collected from other sources, most of them 
already mentioned in this bibliography. 

16. “ Outline Grammar of the Angami Naga Language.” 
R. B. McCabe, I.C.S. Calcutta, 1 887. 

17. “Linguistic Survey of India,” Vol. Ill, Part II. Sir 
George Grierson, Superintendent of Government Printing, 
India. Calcutta , 1903. 

These two are the chief authorities for the Angami language. Both 
are of great value, and the latter, of course, deals with a number of other 
Neiga languages as well as Angami. It contains a complete list of all 
former authorities on the Angami and other Naga tongues, but McCabe 
and Sir George Grierson have entirely superseded these as regards Angami. 
The map of the Naga tribes in the “ Linguistic Survey ” is not quite 



18. “ History of Upper Assam, Upper Burma, and the 
N.E. Frontier.” Col. L. W. Shakespear. Macmillan, 1914. 

Contains a chapter or two on the Naga tribes. Has some good illustra- 
tions. Letterpress, though giving a good idea of the frontier in general, 
is inaccurate when dealing with the habits, customs, and tribal divisions 
of the Nagas, and in cases a little misleading. 

19. “ Gazetteer of the Naga Hills and Manipur.” Assam 
District Gazetteers. Also Supplement to VoL IX of this 
Series. Assam Secretariat Press, Shillong. 

20. History of the Relations of the Government with 
the Hill Tribes of the North-East Frontier of Bengal.” 
Alexander Mackenzie. Calcutta, 1884. 

These last three are perhaps the most convenient works of reference 
dealing with the political history of the Angamis after they came in 
contEict with the British Government, but which has not been treated of 
at all in this monograph. 



N.B. — ^Theso notea are drawn entirely from materials very kindly lent 
me by Colonel Shakespear, whose notes are, for the most part, reproduced 
verbatim. The marginal notes are mine. — J. H. H. 

i. The following six gennas are proclaimed by the Mohvu^ 
of Pusemi (Pudunamei) every month. They are observed 
by thirteen of the sixteen Memi villages. The Mohvu when 
proclaiming an ordinary genna mounts on a pinnacle of 
shale in Pusemi and shouts from there. His shout can be 
heard in Pusemi and is passed on to the other five villages 
at Mao, but the rest of the thirteen have to trust to luck, and 
often do not hear of a genna being proclaimed till some days 
later and observe it whenever they happen to hear. When 
the genna is over the Mohvu mounts a higher pitmacle and 
shouts from there. These two pinnacles are called Tini- 
Jcashdba and are said to be man and wife. War gennas 
are proclaimed from a stone in front of the Mohvu^s house. 

The six monthly gennas are : — 

1. Pureishi . — ^The Mohvu admonishes the people not to 

eat much rice, but no one pays any attention to 
him. No cultivation is done and the Mohvu 
remains chaste. 

2. Urumdni, — Mohvus fast, taking only zu and ginger 

tiU the evening, and keep chaste. The rest of the 
community abstains from cultivation. This is 
said to keep off sickness. 

3. Tok-lcaw, — ^This is to improve matters generally; the 

prohibitions are the same as in Urumani. 

^ Mohvu is the Memi equivalent of the Tengima Kemovo. 

337 . Z 



4. Uramcmi, — ^For success in war and the chase. The 

whole community remains chaste, Mohvus fast, 
no cultivation. 

5. UmigaiyL — ^That no destruction may take place. 

Mohvu fasts and is chaste. Every householder 
spills out some water. No cultivation. 

6. Kehogdsi. — Mohvu fasts and keeps chaste ; others idle. 

When an earthquake occurs there is a one-day 
genna called Molugashu, The Mohvu fasts and 
remains chaste ; the rest remain idle. 

ii. Personal Oennas. — ^If a cow calves, or a cat kittens, the 
owner has to remain chaste for three days (formerly five) 
and in the first case abstain from eating beef. No one 
from another village may enter his house during these 
days. On the death of a cow or a cat, the owner abstains 
from cultivation for one day. For the birth of dogs and 
pigs and hatching of chickens only one day genna has to 
be observed and none for their deaths. 

iii. Wild Animals, — ^The killer must fast for one day. 
For a tiger all sixteen Memi villages observe one day genna. 

iv. Khkawiimoni, — ^During the moon of October, the 
Mohvu selects a day by the look of the moon, and declares 
that the next day will be geima ; no work of any sort can 
be done and the Mohvu remains chaste. This is especially 
for the moon. 

V. UMokao-e. — ^The twenty-ninth or thirtieth day of 
each moon is kept as a genna for the sun ; no work is done 
and the Mohvu remains chaste. 

vi. The Memi of Mekrima Maikel are said to observe 
four monthly gennas : — 

1. Utok-kawh, to improve crops. Mohvu fasts in the 

morning and remains chaste, the rest of the 
villagers may do no work except bring water. 

2. Krehemani, — ^For war and the chase. Whole village 

chaste and idle, only allowed to carry water. 

3. Uratawh, to keep o£E illness. Mohvu fasts in morning 

and is chaste. Villagers idle. 

4. Poshimani, — Same as Uratawh. 



The other gennas named under Mao are observed, by order 
of the Mohvu. 

vii. The following articles of diet are prohibited to all 
Mohvus and to stone pullers and others with high social 
status : — ^Fowls, eggs, flesh of wild animals, beans, and a 
small fish called Kureu (“ Peru ” in Manipuri). 

Colonel Shakespear was told that it was impossible to 
say what awful thing would happen if a Mohvu were to fail 
to observe a genna strictly.^ 

viii. Death . — On a death occurring, the village is genna 
for a day. The body is washed and dressed in fine clothes. 
The grave is dug by a son or a near relative. The grave is 
dug east and west. Males are placed facing east, females 
facing west. Cows and pigs are killed according to the 
wealth of the family. The dead are buried about 4 or 5 p.m. 
The grave is a simple pit, no coffin is employed, the body 
is carried out on a plank. With a man are buried two 
spears, a dao, a shield, an empty zu gourd, his pipe, and a 
bow ; with a woman, her iron walking-stick, a gourd, 
weaving apparatus, and her rain-shield. In the case of a child 
that was still being suckled some of its mother’s milk, a 
little from each breast, is squeezed into two ‘‘ chungas,” 
and these are placed beside the head of the corpse in the 
grave. The grave is filled in by those who dug it ; the first 
part dug in the refilling is not thrown away, as is done in 
Maram. After the grave has been filled in, a small chicken 
is strangled and then hung by the neck from a small stake 
on the grave so that its feet just touch the ground, and 
some chaff is placed before it and set on fire. It is said 
that in this detail custom varies somewhat, but a fowl is 
killed in every case. 

For five days after the death the house is genna, and at 
all meals a little of the food is placed in each of the comers 
at the back of the living room, and after the five days similar 
offerings are placed there once a month until the last month 
of the year {Uklaw-lduh). The person who cooks these 
offerings must do no other work and must remain chaste. 
The offerings are left there tiU the next ones are placed. 
On the last of the five days, if any fiesh of the cattle killed 

z -2 



remains it must be taken out of the house and given away. 
A new hearth is made and the house swept clean, but the 
new fire can be lit from the old one or any other. On the 
grave of the child that was buried while Colonel 
Shakespear was there he found his bracelets and Manton’s 

Sportsman’s Register.” No one would touch these. 

ix. Accidental Deaths. — ^No different procedure except in 
case of death from drowning or by tiger, in which case a 
genna in all sixteen villages ; the corpse is buried in matting. 
No animals are killed, nor are offerings of food placed. 

X. Deaths in Childbirth. — There is a day’s genna for a 
woman who dies in childbirth, but no difference in the funeral 

Children dying within five days of birth are buried in 
an old pot wrapped in old clothes, inside the house, under 
the floor of the living room, without any ceremonies, because 
they have not been named. 

xi. Cats. — Only the Mohvu and those who have acquired 
high social status (see para, xxiii) may keep cats. Cats 
used not to be killed, but nowadays people kiU them, and 
no one is any the worse. But the oath on killing a cat is 
still held to bo efficacious. Cats are buried with ceremony 
and people pretend to weep. 

xii. Tiger. — ^If a tiger is shot the body will be brought 
into the village and buried. The killer is hailed as a fine 
fellow ; on his death a dog must be killed in order that its 
ghost may frighten away the ghost of the tiger, which will 
be waiting to trouble the ghost of his slayer on the road to 

xiii. Belief as to the World beyond the Crave. — ^life in the 
other world is thought to be much like life here. Those 
who have acquired social status ^ by pulling stones, etc., 
and head-takers have an easier time, just as they have here. 
On the road to Marabu waits Pekujikhe,® who challenges 
the ghost to single combat, the spirits of brave men accept 
the challenge, and then the earth heaves with the mighty 

^ This is a Serna custom also. The dog is buried with the dead man by 
most Sernas, but in the Chophimi clan its flesh is eaten, following the Ao 

* Vide para, xxiii. 

Tengima — “ Metsimo.” 



struggle and we call it an earthquake^ but less brave spirits 
humbly pick the lice out of his head and are allowed to 

xiv. Fire . — ^The first fire which they brought from 
Mekrima was bad and burnt down their houses, so they 
fetched fresh fire from Liyai.^ Clean fire is required to start 
the fires again, after a village has been burnt, for cooking 
the head of shikar, after bringing back a human head, for 
cooking during two days in Salani ^ when men eat apart, 
and for father and child when eating together {vide birth). 
No woman may make clean fire. 

XV. Birth Customs. — 1. (a) A pregnant woman must not 
eat the flesh of a cow or sow which was pregnant and died. 
(Memi Nagas do not eat goats.®) 

(6) If either parent dream of a spear or a cock, the child 
will be a boy ; but if the dream is of a woman’s iron walking 
rod or a hen, the child will be a girl. Boys are generally 
preferred, and in order to get a son the parents must meditate 
on Urdme.^ No attempt at abortion is ever made. 

2. After the birth the father may not eat green vegetables 
for one day, and must not go out at night for six or seven 

3. The ear-piercing is done by an old man, who gets a 
piece of wood for his trouble. Some day after the seventh 
the parents eat a fowl together and meditate on Urame ; 
after this the child is given rice, gradually. The afterbirth 
is buried very carefully in a pot under the floor of the home, 
because should it be eaten by a dog or pig the child would 
die. On this day the mat on which the mother lay and 
her cooking pots are thrown outside the village. After a 
child has been named a garland of KoUaw grass is placed 
round its neck. 

4. Twins are thought very lucky. No work is done on the 
day twins are born. The event is thought to presage 

* Another village in the Manipur State. 

* The Saleni genna among the Memi corresponds either with the Sekrengi 
or the Tsongi of the Tengima, perhaps combining features of both. 

* Or rather, perhaps, do not allow their women to do so. 

* This is clearly a plural form. U -ra-me is the equivalent of the Tengima 
word te^rho^ma, apparently, and probably therefore means deities in general. 



good fortune for the Mohvu, it is therefore not surprising 
that twins always are helped first when any food is being 

5. The body is buried under the spot on which the birth 
took place, if the child dies within five days of birth. 

6. When the child is two years old, several fowls are 
killed and his friends are regaled. There is no special 
ceremony when he first goes to sleep in the young men’s 

xvi. Birth Ceremonies , — Only the father may be present, 
if he cannot be there an old woman takes his place. The 
mother herself cuts the navel cord with a bamboo knife, 
and buries the afterbirth in the room alongside of the 
birthplace. The delivery takes place on the floor to left 
of the central hearth, as you enter the living room, and the 
mother remains there for five days. When the mother 
has buried the afterbirth an old woman brings in stones to 
make a new cooking place, and if the child be a boy six 
stones, to make two new fireplaces, as for five days the 
father and mother must have their food cooked separately 
and eat separately ; and if the child be a boy a new cooking 
place must be made for the father also. As soon as the new 
fireplace has been made, water is warmed to give the child 
a bath, after which a cock or a hen, according to the sex 
of the infant, is killed by a boy, and cooked by the mother, 
who eats it all herself, except small portions given to Urdme. 
Then if the parents are wealthy a pig and several fowls 
may be killed and a feast given. On the day of the birth 
the father must do no work. For five days the mother 
must not leave the house, even for purposes of nature. 
On the fifth day the name is given. The father thinks of 
the name at the moment of birth, but should he subsequently 
dream of broken weapons, torn cloth, or killing animals, 
the name must be changed. A cock or a hen is killed and 
eaten by the mother, helped, if necessary, by an old woman. 
On the same day a bull is killed for Urdme and the flesh 
divided among the villagers. ^ Then the name is given as 

^ That is apparently only done for boys, and then only in certain cir- 
cumstances. Vide last sentence of this paragraph. 



follows. An elderly male relative holds a spear in one 
hand and a piece of burning fir-wood in the other, and 
somehow also takes the child. He first stands on the birth- 
place, then he crosses to the other side of the house and 
announces the name. The mother now throws away the 
pots she has been using and the special fireplace is removed 
and the mother rejoins her husband on the family couch. 

On the sixth day the father and mother eat together, and 
then the mother takes the child just outside the village 
and then returns. On the seventh day the mother leaves 
the child in the house and goes and fetches water. Then 
she cooks rice and the flesh of some animal and places a little 
on the breast, mouth, and forehead of the child. The mother 
then takes her child, and with it a little dhan and a sickle 
to the house of another woman who has children living. 
The dhan and the sickle are left there and others brought 
in exchange. If after several girls have been bom a son 
appears, the parents sometimes celebrate the event by 
killing a bull and feasting the villagers. 

xvii. Ear-piercing . — ^This must be done within two months 
of birth. The parents must remain chaste for the remainder 
of the month in which the piercing is done, so most of them 
perform it on the last day of the two months. Some time 
later, within a year or two, the Ale-we genna is celebrated. 
The father and mother keep apart for five days and the 
mother and child eat together. During these days the 
mother does no work. When the child is two or three he 
gives a feast to his little friends — ^this is called Muchdzue, 
This terminates the ceremonies connected with birth and 

xviii. IkJmichi = boys' dormitory, Iloichi == girls’ 
dormitory. Even if a boy has an unmarried sister he may 
sleep in his father’s house, but from shame he does not. 
The girls mostly sleep in the Iloichi, 

xix. Marriage .^ — ^Price having been fixed by negotiation, 
the dreams of the young couple are noted ; if those are 

^ Compare with the account of the Memi marriage ceremonies from 
Colooel Kennedy's note given in Part IV. The two acooimts do not tally 



favourable, both families prepare zu. An old woman goes 
from the bridegroom’s house to that of the bride, taking 
with her two pots of zu and two hoes. She receives two 
pots of zu in exchange from the bride’s house. On the day 
fixed for the marriage the bride is taken to the groom’s 
house and they exchange leaf cups of zu which they have 
each made ; the cups are hung on opposite walls of the 
house. The bride gives her cup with her left and the groom 
with his right hand. That night the pair remain chaste. 
The next morning the girl’s ear-rings are removed and she 
bathes and fasts, taking only zu. She stays in her new 
home, her husband going elsewhere ; he makes a new 
bamboo spoon and puts it in his house and goes back to 
the Ikhuichi. On the following day he returns to his house 
and makes a new hearth and brings a new pot and the pair 
eat together ; then the bride goes to her home, but returns 
in the evening with friends carrying food and drink, and the 
elders of the sagei^ are called and drink, and then the younger 
members feast, and from then the young couple live together. 
After the marriage, in the month of Sa-le-kluh or Chi4hu- 
ni-kluh, Jime or December, 8alani has to be performed. 
This is a two days’ feast, during which the males of the 
sagei eat apart, using clean fire. The bride’s parents send 
twenty or thirty loads of food and drink and all the males 
feast thereon. The people of the groom’s sagei make a 
collection, which the groom gives to his father-in-law. 

XX. Mengu, — On the death of his wife, the husband 
must give her parents a hoe ; but sometimes on her death-bed 
she tells him to give something else as well, in which case he 
must do so. 

After marriage the young couple live with the husband’s 
parents, but build a new house as soon as possible. 

xxi. Illegitimate Children, — The parents are made to 
marry ; if they are of the same sagei, or of sageis which cannot 
intermarry, or if the father cannot be found, the girl is turned 
out of the village. She may return later, but must not 

^ Sagei = sept. Of, Tengima eaiyeh, which is no doubt the same word, 
though in this case thino would probably be used by a Tengima as equivalent 




bring the child. It was declared that no case of irregular 
intercourse within prohibited degrees was known. Such 
intercourse would be punished by a tiger eating the culprits, 
but the village or sagei would not suffer. 

xxii. Memorials of Departed Heroes. — Rich people have 
stone memorials called KatetokJm put up in their memory 
outside the village. A pig is killed in the house of the 
deceased and cooked there. The whole sagei fetch the 
stone and place it in position, and then return and feast in 
the deceased’s house on pork and zu. Everything provided 
must be eaten and drunk that night, and all the sagei must 
remain chaste. If all is done properly the dead will be happy 
and comfortable. 

xxiii. Feasts of Merit. — ^The aspirant for fame must per- 
form the Yuhongba ceremony before he can do the greater 
one of pulling a stone. He must give notice of his intention 
to do so in the month of Bellu-khuh, corresponding to October. 
He renews all his cooking pots and changes the hearth- 
stones, and for one month from the date of giving notice 
he remains chaste. During this time ho is busy getting zu 
brewed ; when all is ready he kills a pig and calls the 
villagers. His friends bring presents and contributions of 
zu, which are very welcome, for it is up to the giver of the 
feast to provide zu for all the village for the whole of the 
month of U-klaw-kluJii and if it runs short he would fall into 
dire disgrace. On the first of Chi-thu-ni-kluh he again renews 
his cooking pots and changes the hearth-stones, and having 
eaten from the new utensils he may sleep with his wife. 
The next or any succeeding Bellu-kluh he may give notice 
that he will perform the stone-pulling. New pots and new 
hearth-stones are procured and the stone-puller must keep 
chaste for the next ten months. In the month of CM-thu-ni- 
kluh he gives a feast called JJ-tuzur, killing a big cow or two 
small ones and feeding the whole village and providing zu 
for the sagei. During the next month the village collects 
wood for zu making, and the puller has to provide them with 
zu. In the next month zu in quantities is made and stored. 
The stone has to be chosen during this month. Having 
selected the stone, he puts some zu and “ Kollaw ” leaves 



under it and goes home to dream ; if he does not dream at 
all it is bad. When the stone has been approved of, the 
pulling is arranged. The puller wears a special dress with 
a head-dress, white cloth gaiters, and special cloths ; the 
others all dress in their finest. Two old men dressed as 
the puller, except that they do not wear the special cloth 
ZawshishUf go to the stone, and one of them places some 
ginger and zu in a leaf by the stone and then lets a white 
chicken go that the stone may move as easily as the chicken 
runs away. The young men chase it and kill it. The 
Mohvu now walks round the stone with a spear in his hand 
and then gives the first puU. (The stone has been put on 
the sledge before the ceremony.) Then two chaste young 
men who have followed the Mohvu holding Chhip-pe wands 
and “ Kollaw ” leaves and some cocks’ feathers take up 
their position in front of the stone and throw the Chhip-pe 
wands in the direction in which it is intended to go. They 
mount on to the stone and shout to it to go quickly, after 
which they rejoin the Mohvu and give a pull at the ropes. 
They get on to the stone a second time, and then the hauling 
begins, and if possible the stone must be got to the site on 
that day, but certainly by the next. This done, all go and 
drink. The Mohvu and the old men of each sagei go into 
the puller’s house with him and an old man who has pulled 
a stone sits outside, Zu is distributed in leaves ; those 
inside the house except the Mohvu drink theirs ; the old 
sentry also does not drink his ; the rest of the people assemble 
outside, and when they have drunk their portions all shout 
“ Ho ! ” The old sentry goes into the house and he and 
the Mohvu drink. Then all go home ; the Mohvu and the 
old sentry must remain chaste that night. The next day 
but one more zu is made, and five days later a pig is killed, 
and the day after a cow and buffalo, and two days later 
whatever meat has not been eaten by the puller and his 
household is divided among everyone with zu. The village 
is cleared of strangers. The unmarried girls and all males 
are called and come with their zu cups, get them filled, 
take them home, and return and stand or sit in rows and 
are given drink in leaves ; this goes on for four or five days. 



but the cups are not brought on the later days. The puller 
receives small cash presents from his friends, to whom he 
gives a special drink. New zu is then prepared, and when it 
is ready everyone is again treated. Again zu is prepared, 
and when it is ready the villagers go and hoe the puller’s 
field and erect the stone which all this time has been waiting 
on the sledge. This ends the show. The puller is not 
allowed to eat fowls, eggs, and certain vegetables. At every 
feast a Yuhongba gets two shares, a Lunchingba four, and 
one who has pulled two stones ten shares. 

xxiv. Calendar , — ^Year begins in December which is 

Chi-thu-ni-kluh . 

Chaw-zu4appa . 











XXV. This month U-klaw is the genna of that name. 
The first day is Mi-kuru-kraw , on this day offerings are 
made for those who have died by fire ; on the second day, 
8e-zur-kraw, offerings are made for those who have been 
murdered ; on the third day, I-kraw-ji, offerings are made 
for all other deceased during the preceding year. On each 
evening the offerings are thrown away. The three days 
are very strictly penna, 

xxvi. Rain making and stopping . — ^The Mohvu of every 
village calls for rain or fine weather and a one day’s genna 
is proclaimed. 

xxvii. Sickness . — Some dhan and a fowl are taken to the 
Maiba, who from looking at the dhan tells in which direction 
the fowl should be released and an egg thrown away If 
this does not bring about a cure, a rich man will’ kill a bull 



inside the house ; a little of the flesh from the lips, its four 
feet, and liver are wrapped in a plantain leaf and put in the 
thatch. The sick man eats a little of the flesh, and the rest 
is distributed round the village, each house getting a piece. 
If anyone were to steal the meat the patient would die. 
The household is henna for the day. 

xxviii. About the fifteenth day of the month Ckaw-zu- 
lappa, i,e, January, the Mohvu of Mekrima has to go alone 
very early in the morning, before anyone is about, and 
build two small houses for Ura^ and his son. In the house 
he places two plantain leaves and on these zu and ginger. 
He prays that all may be well with the villages. He must 
return to his house without speaking to anyone. This day 
is called Rapehosha. The Mohvu fasts and he and the whole 
village remain chaste, and the next seven days are penna. 
About the twelfth day of the next month the Mohvu again 
goes as before and builds one house for the servant of the 
god and places oflerings ; this day is called Ukruchi and is 
followed by five days’ genna as above. If ever3rfching is 
properly carried out the whole sixteen villages benefit. 
Should they suffer in any way they attribute it to the Mohvu" s 
neglect and get angry with him and demand that he should 
take the necessary steps to appease Urame. 

xxix. The Durbar at “ Maikel ” (Mekrima). — This is the 
version given to Colonel Shakespear by the Mohvu of 

Ura a god produced Jilimasa,^ who lived in Mekrima. A 
cloud came from the south and had connection with Jilimasa, 
who gave birth to a god. On the occasion of the inter- 
course, a tiger was the result. Three more times the cloud 
came and three beings, called Asapu, Tuthoh, and Kepi, 
were produced. When the progeny grew up they demanded 
to see their father, and Jilimasa told them they must not 
be afraid of him when they saw him. Then she put zu, 
rice, and flesh on the plate and called on their father to 

^ U-ra here probably — the god, i,e. the particular spirit associated 
with Mekrima (“ Maikhel ”) village, c/. para. xxix. 

® Jilimasa is apparently an equivalent in some respects of XJkepenopfu. 
Compare the stories in Part V. 



appear, and when he did so the first bom, the god, ran under 
his arm, Asapu and Tuthoh caught him by the knees, but 
Kepi after one look fled to Ms mother. What the tiger did 
was not related. Then the father carried off the god. 
Then the tiger said he would become a man, and the others 
said “ Very well ; whoever touches one of the three stones 
near Mekrima shall become a man.’* So they ran and the 
tiger got there first, but the others said it must be run again, 
and they shot the stone with an arrow and so they became 
men and the tiger ran into the jungle. Kepi stayed there 
and was the ancestor of the Haus,^ Tuthoh went to the valley 
and from him the Meithei, and Asapu went westward and 
from him the Mayang. After two months Tuthoh returned, 
and after six Asapu arrived, and in the seventh month 
Jilimasa gave Asapu a white cock, Tuthoh a sareng fish, 
and Kepi a mithan. They were going to eat those in turn. 
First the fowl was cooked and all were going to eat, when 
the bird stood up in the dish, and they said “ How are we 
to eat this ? ” Then Asapu took a dao and applied magic 
and the bird lay down again and was eaten. Then the 
sareng was cooked and it behaved in the same way, and 
Tuthoh repeated Asapu’s performance and the fish was 
eaten, and then the mithan was cooked and they ate as 
much as they could and put the remainder in a pot, and 
Kepi saying “ Don’t touch ” went away, but the other two 
put their hands into the pot and they stuck there, and 
when Kepi returned they were unable to pull them out, 
but he was merciful, and taking a white cock he offered to 
east and west and besought Urdme to release them, and 
when they got free they admitted that Kepi was their 
superior. They put up a stone and separated and each 
went to his own place, and it was agreed that the one wMch 
looked back should pay tribute, and poor Kepi turned round 
to look, and so they said “ You must pay ” and went away, 
leaving tMs written on a stone and giving Mm a letter on 

^ Hau = Hillmen, a Manipuri term apparently used in contempt. 
Meithei == Manipuri ; Mayang = men of the plains of Assam. N,B. The 
Changs use Haung as a contemptuous term for plainsmen whom they 
distinguish from m&tmei (== “real man”) which they use for all Naga 



leather which the rats ate, so poor Kepi never learnt to 

XXX. The Mao version is a little different. 

The children came to Mekrima from Keshur^ and held 
the Durbar. The story of the feast is the same. When 
the three brothers returned they found their mother sick. 
The spirit son saw her first. She had fever, the tiger then 
came and selected the parts of her he would eat first ; then 
the three men came and took care of her, which pleased her, 
but she died and they buried her and cooked their dinner 
on her grave so that the tiger might not find it, therefore 
they may eat on graves. The names of the men are given 
by Hodson. Then the three men parted and each marked 
out his road with white sticks and many followed Alapa 
and Tuto. Memo wanted to go, but their father said he 
was to stay and eat his rice, so Mao has always stolen 
Mekrima rice. 

^ Kezakenoma. Compare the stories in Part V. 



In dealing with the Naga tribes as a whole I should be 
inclined to divide them into four rough divisions : — (1) The 
Southern Nagas, consisting of Kacha Naga and Kabui 
tribes and the majority of the tribes of the Manipur State 
described by Mr. Hodson in his monograph and not speci- 
fically mentioned here. (2) The Western Nagas, consisting 
of the Angamis (including the Memi and Maram sub-tribes 
in the Manipur State), the Sernas, and perhaps the Rengmas 
and the Lhotas. (3) The Central Nagas, viz., the Tangkhuls, 
Aos, Sangtams, Yachumi, and perhaps Changs and the 
Phom villages. (4) The Eastern Nagas — ^the Konyak tribes 
of Tamlu and the area north-east of the Dikhu extending 
along the borders of the Sibsagar and Lakhimpur districts 
to the Patkai range and apparently southwards along that 
range to the east of the Phom and Chang countries. Of the 
tribes east of the Changs, Yachumi and Sangtams, however, 
so little is known that nothing can be definitely asserted. 
But there is a tribe extending from the river Ti-ho (see 
Tuzu in maps), a tributary of the Chindwin up to the Patkoi 
range, some villages of which call themselves Kalyo-Kengyu, 
— i.e., the men who live in stone houses, since they all use 
slate for roofing their houses. This is the tribe otherwise 
known as Bosorr or (to the Serna) as Tukhemmi and to the 
Chang 'as Aoshed. On the Burma side they are called 
Para. I place this tribe in the Central Naga group. It is 
in this unknown country that the western tribes locate the 



villages of Amazons, ogresses, cannibals, and tiger-men of 
which their legends tell. In any case, the division into 
four groups is at best a rough one, and of course the 
Manipuris themselves, despite their Hinduism, are probably 
of Naga stock. 

(1) Southern Gbroup. 

Kaoha Naga (called Mezama by Angamis). 

The only tribes of the southern group which are located 
inside the Naga HiUs administrative district are the divisions 
of the Kacha Nagas, the Zemi, Lyengmai, and Maruong-mai. 
These tribes are situated to the south of the Angamis and 
have been very much influenced by them, the Zemi having 
been long virtually subject to the Angami village of Khonoma. 
The Angami dress is worn, though the kilt is merely put round 
the body and not fastened between the legs, and in some 
villages the exogamous clans have the same names as those 
in Khonoma. Some of the more northern villages along 
the Barak river have terraced fields — ^in some others jhuming 
prevails. The languages are quite distinct from the Angami, 
and each of the three divisions has its own. These Kacha 
Naga tribes seem to be closely allied to the Kabui tribe in 
Manipur, and some of the Kacha Nagas are situated as far 
south as the North Cachar HiUs. The dancing and singing 
of the Kacha Nagas and Kabuis are of a very much more 
advanced development than is found among the Western 
Nagas, and the “ morung ” is an important feature of the 

The Maruong-mai are said to practise teknonymy. 

A grammar and vocabulary of Empeo (the name given 
to the Kacha Nagas in Haflong and probably equivalent 
to Maruong), together with a short account of the tribe and 
its manners, customs, and beliefs, was compiled by Mr. 
Soppitt (“ Short Account of the Kacha Naga (Empeo) 
Tribe, with Outline Grammar,’’ C. A. Soppitt, Assam Secre- 
tariat Press, Shillong, 1885). Sir George Grierson *(“ Lin- 
guistic Survey,” Vol. Ill, Part II) classes the Kacha Naga 
language in the Naga-Bodo group. 

A Kacjiv Na(; \ ( Lvi':n(jmai) Bhtixjk on the rANTn.i-.VEJi riiiNc.ii’LE 

\To Save p. 3:»2. 



(2) Western Group. 

I have included with the western group the Memi and 
Maram Nagas and the Lhota tribe. Both these have been 
otherwise classed by Sir George Grierson on the score of 
language. As regards the Memi and Maram sub-tribes, 
however, he says that he might equally well have classed 
them with the Western Nagas. So that I think I need not 
further apologise for having done so myself. As regards 
the Lhotas, I have grouped them with the Angamis, Sernas, 
and Rengmas on other than linguistic grounds,^ as there 
seem to be several points of varying importance in which 
the practices of the Angamis, Sernas, Bengmas, and Lhotas 
generally agree in differing from that of the Central Nagas 
and Konyak tribes. Seven points may be mentioned : — 

(1) The Use of Tattoo , — ^Tattooing is not practised by 
any of the Western Nagas, though it is practised by all the 
central as well as the Konyak tribes. 

(2) Disposal of the Dead , — ^AU the Western Nagas bury 
their dead. The Central Nagas and the Konyak tribes 
expose their dead on “machans,” the latter treating the 
head separately. The Changs, however, practise burial 
not infrequently, while the Yachumi are said to bury 
their dead beneath the deceased’s bed, throwing out any 
bones they may find there in digging the grave. This is 
quite contrary to any practice of the Western Nagas. The 
Tangkhuls bury their dead, but they continue to erect over 
the grave a model of the “ machan ” as used for the body 
by the Aos. 

(3) Disposal of Heads taken in War , — ^Heads taken m 
war are buried or hung up outside the village, usually in 
some particular tree, by the Western Nagas, whereas the 
Central Nagas hang them up in their houses. 

(4) Knowledge of the Legend of the Dispersion from the 
Kezakenoma Stone , — ^The legend has been given in Part I 
of this monograph. It is known to all the Western tribes, 

^ At the same time a comparison of Lhota with Inseni'KotsenuJRengma 
(not given by Grierson) shows much similarity. 

A A 



and so far as I can learn it is not known to the Central 
tribes. It is certainly not known to the Aos. In 
several other cases I have found that legends known to 
Angamis, Sernas, and Lhotas alike are not known to the 
Aos and Changs, who do, however, know one another’s 

(5) Method of Sowing , — ^The Western tribes when jhuming 
sprinkle the seed paddy carefully and cover it with earth 
(using a hoe) after sowing. The seed is spaced to facilitate 
subsequent weeding. The Aos and other Central tribes 
merely throw down their seed broadcast on the ground and 
leave it to take its chance, and to come up very thin in 
places, in others so close that weeding is very difficult. The 
Tangkhuls, however, have adopted terraced cultivation. 

(6) Stone-pulling , — ^The practice is common to all the 
Western Nagas except the Sernas, who believe that they 
used to practise it formerly {vide infra). It is not practised 
by the Central tribes, except the Tangkhul. 

(7) War Drums . — ^All the Central tribes make large wooden 
war drums of the trunk of a tree hollowed and carved to 
represent a mithan or other animal. These drums are, at 
any rate by the Aos, regarded with a good deal of veneration 
and play an important part in village ceremonies. They 
are not made by the Western tribes, except in one or two 
Serna villages bordering on the Sangtams and occupied by 
men of the Chophimi clan, which is almost certainly of 
Ao or Sangtam origin itself. 

An eighth point of contrast might possibly be found in 
the method of taking oaths (see under Aos). 

It is no doubt possible that these points of resemblance 
and difference are adventitious. In any case, all Naga tribes 
seem to have had, in part at any rate, a common origin ; 
but for the pm-pose of dealing with a number of tribes like 
those inhabiting the Naga Hills some sort of grouping is 
desirable, and perhaps that sketched here will serve as well 
as any other. The Lhotas have undoubtedly been affected 
by Ao influences, an explanation of which is offered in the 
note on the I^hotas. 



Angami (called Tsungumi by Sernas, Tsilngung by 
Lhotas, Monr by Aos). 

The Angamis fall roughly into five groups, the Chakroma, 
Tengima, Chakrima (or Chekrama), Kezami, and Memi. 
The first two, and as far as possible the second two, have 
been dealt with in this monograph. The Memi have also 
been touched on, as one' village at any rate falls into the 
Naga Hills District, but a fuller account of them has 
already been given by Mr. Hodson in his ‘‘ Naga Tribes of 

Sema (Simi) (called Serna by Angamis, Chumm by 
Lhotas, Moiyarr by Mongsen Aos, Simrr by 
Chongli AQ^,Sumrr by Sangtams, Samli by Changs). 

Of the non- Angami tribes of the Western group, the 
Sema, or as they call themselves Simi, seem to be most 
nearly related to the Angamis. The language shows a 
very close approximation, particularly to Kezami. 

The Sernas are situated north-east of the Angamis and 
stretch from the upper Dayang valley, where they border 
on the Rengma and Lhota tribes, northward into the Ao 
country and eastward across the Tizu to the Tita valley, 
where they border on the Yachumi and Sangtam tribes. 
The Sernas of Lazemi and the neighbouring villages in the 
Tizu vaUey differ considerably in dialect, in customs, and 
in dress from the bulk of the Sema tribe grouped round the 
headwaters of the Kileki and Dikhu rivers, and on both 
sides of the Tizu. The Sernas of Lazemi and the upper 
Dayang valley seem more closely connected with the 
Angamis and Rengmas and perhaps contain an admixture 
of both these tribes. It is primarily the Sernas east of the 
Dayang valley of whom I am speaking here. 

In general appearance the Sema is decidedly inferior to 
the Angami. The men rarely have fine features and the 
women are usually ugly. In stature and physique, however, 
many of the chieftains of the higher vfilages, particularly 
those across the frontier, can compare well with almost any 
Angami. The Sema is generally regarded, and probably 

A A 2 



with justice, as one of the most warlike of the Naga tribes, but 
otherwise the Serna character has perhaps been maligned. 
Mr. Davis, in particular, in the Census report of 1891, gives 
the Sernas a very bad character. It is true that they have 
a peculiar propensity for thieving and lying, and the 
ordinary oath on a tiger’s tooth is not at all to be relied on, 
but, on the other hand, the Serna chief and his relations 
have a family pride which often raises their standard of 
honesty above that which one usually expects to find in a 
Naga. If the general average be taken, the morality of the 
Serna, judged by European standards, is probably no lower 
than that of any other Naga tribe, while Sernas on whom 
reliance or responsibility is placed seem to rise to the occasion 
as well as most Nagas. In his domestic life the Serna man 
is an excellent husband and father, while the women have a 
far higher standard of chastity than other tribes and are 
very good mothers of large families. 

The dress of the Serna is much more scanty than that of 
the Angami. Apart from cloths, the prevailing pattern of 
which is black with a border of three parallel red stripes 
along each side, the principal garment of the men is a narrow 
flap, about ten to twelve inches long by three to four broad, 
of black cloth embroidered with a few lines of red, and some- 
times with a few cowries. This flap is the end of a strip of 
cloth which is roUed to form a girdle tied round the waist, 
and fastened so that the flap hangs down in front, though 
it conceals little of the wearer’s nakedness. This garment 
is nowadays giving way to a “ lengta ” like that of the Aos 
and Lhotas, while in the villages in communication with the 
Yachumi and Sangtam tribes a form known as lapuchoh is 
worn, which consists of a sort of a bag which contains the 
private parts and is pulled up under the girdle and hangs 
down in a flap in front, embroidered with crimson dog’s 
hair and a circle of cowries. The Serna women wear a 
short petticoat, over which a broad girdle of loosely strung 
beads is worn, coming down below the hips and suggesting 
that this was originally the sole garment. In ceremonial 
dress the Serna wears a cowrie apron about fiiteen inches 
square, a red sash across his chest with a long fringe of 



scarlet goat’s hair, a tail of basket work and human hair 
either hanging straight down {asapJm) or sticking out behind 
{avi-lce-sajphu — ^mithan-hom-sajpAw), and a circlet of bear’s 
hair round his head carrying two or thi’ee hornbill feathers 
worn as a sign of head-taking. Handsome gauntlets of 
cowries with a fringe of scarlet hair are worn at all times by 
warriors, and white conch-shell beads and boars’ tusks are 
very popular as necklaces.’ The women wear heavy armlets 
above the elbow of some metal resembling pewter, and both 
men and women brass bracelets, but the men rarely, if 
ever, more than one on each wrist. The weapons of the 
Serna are like those of the Angami, except that the dao 
always has a long handle and the spear has a smaller head. 
The shield is rounded at one end and sometimes covered with 
mithan or bearskin. In war the rounded end is carried 
downwards, but for ceremonies upwards and garnished 
with a red and white hair plume. Some of the Sernas in 
communication with the Yachumi and Sangtams use the 
crossbow. Like the Rengmas, Lhotas, and Central Naga 
tribes, the Serna cuts his hair in a straight line round the 
head, shaving below the line. 

Except for the fact that he does not practise the wet 
cultivation of rice, the agricultural and domestic life of the 
Serna is very similar to that of the Angami. In the matter 
of manufacture, however, he is far more primitive, and while 
the blacksmith’s art seems to be quite a new acquisition 
in the Serna country, the art of weaving is only known to a 
few villages. It is practised by the Dayang valley villages 
and by one or two of the villages between the Kileld and the 
Dayang. In the other Serna villages cloths are not woven, 
and it is sometimes said to be genna to weave. This latter 
assertion possibly arises either from an unwillingness to 
admit ignorance of the art, or from an attempt to explain 
its absence, for though some clans do not weave at all and 
say it is genna for them, there are also large sections which 
cannot weave among the clans for whom weaving is 
undoubtedly not genna. 

In internal organisation the Serna offer a most striking 
contrast to the other tribes of the western gi’ou^ in the 



existence of hereditary chiefs. The chieftainship goes 
down from father to son, the elder sons becoming chiefs in 
their own villages during the father’s lifetime, provided 
the sons are able to found separate villages, and one of the 
younger sons probably succeeding in his father’s village. 
Where, however, the elder sons are not able to found 
villages of their own, the eldest son succeeds his father and 
his brothers become sort of satellites. In some cases, of 
course, the chief is succeeded by his brother, on whose 
death, however, the office reverts to the elder line. The 
chief is in the first instance the sole owner of land in his 
own village, but when the village is unable to throw out 
colonies the land becomes divided and subdivided among 
brothers, though the younger brothers who have not married 
by the time their father dies do not necessarily get a share. 
The chief’s subjects cultivate land belonging to the chief 
and owe him labour on the land which he reserves for his 
own cultivation. The right to free labour, like the land, 
is apt to get split up where the chief’s sons cannot separate. 
The subject cannot leave his village without the chief’s 
consent, as he owes him various services ; but in retui'n for 
service from the subjects, the chief looks after them, provid- 
ing them with wives and often feeding them, or at any rate 
lending them food in times of scarcity. On the whole, the 
subject receives from his chief quite as many benefits as 
he gives, and the system works well. It is usually the 
unsatisfactory and the bad characters who try to run away 
or who quarrel with their chief. The subject can acquire 
land of his own by purchase, and often does so. In some 
villages, such as Seromi and Satami, the organisation is 
much more democratic, while the chief system hardly 
exists at all in the Lazemi group of villages. It may be 
worth notice that the Sernas use the same word {mv^hemi) 
for “ orphan,” ‘‘ subject,” and pauper.” 

Unlike most Naga tribes, the Sernas show no trace of any 
dual organisation. They call their fathers apo and their 
mothers azo^ which suggests that they are a branch of the 
division which is represented by the Kepezoma among the 
Angamis. There are a score or more of principal clans 



originally strictly, and still to some extent, exogamous, the 
name of the clans being explained as patronymics in some 
cases and as nicknames in others. 

The Sernas practise polygyny, a chief or a rich man 
sometimes having as many as five or seven wives, who 
generally seem to dwell in excellent harmony together. 
Preiharital chastity is the rule rather than the exception 
among Serna women, the ‘girls being very carefully looked 
after by their parents. They are rarely, if ever, married 
against their will, but marriage prices run high, particularly 
for chiefs’ daughters, for whom the equivalent of as much as 
Rs.SOO/- is not infrequently given. 

The religious beliefs of the Sernas are broadly similar to 
those of the Angamis, and both public and private gennas 
roughly correspond, though those of the Sernas are fewer 
and simpler. The gennas of social status are marked among 
the Sernas by the erection of Y-shaped posts carved with 
mithan heads, to which the beasts are tied for slaughtering. 
The Serna dances are less stately than those of the Angamis, 
but more intricate with more movements and very much 
more attractive to watch. Angami and Serna singing is 
very similar. 

As a special monograph on the Serna tribe is ready for 
publication, and will probably be published by the Assam 
Administration, no further particulars of the tribe are 
given here, though its position among the Naga tribes is a 
very important one. 

Rbngma (Inzonn) (called Mezama by Angamis, Mozhumi 
by Sernas, Moiyui by Lhotas, Monr by Aos). 

The Rengmas are a small tribe of which the main body is 
situated to the immediate north of the Angami country. 
There are, however, other sections, part of the tribe having 
migrated across the Dayang to the Mikir Hills about a 
century ago, owing to the hostile pressure of the surrounding 
tribes, and part, a naked section, being located to the east 
of the Angami country and the Tizu river in Sohemi, Melomi, 
and Lapvomi and (in part) Temimi, which is a mixed village 

36 o appendix III 

of Naked Bengma and Sangtam. Some Bengmas claim to 
be an offshoot of the Sernas,^ but the prevailing belief is 
that they came to their present habitations from Sopvoma 
in the Memi country by way of Kezakenoma. Sohemi 
claim to be a colony from the Western Bengmas and to have 
originated in a hunting party which got benighted on the 
bank of the Tizu. Melomi and Lapvomi are colonies from 
Sohemi. It is easy to reconcile these versions if we suppose 
that the Bengmas occupied a much larger area than they do 
now, and stretching eastward from their present habitat. 
The inroads of Angamis and Sernas would account for the 
separation of the Naked from the other Bengmas just as 
the “ Tukomi ” Sangtams and “ Lophemi ’’ Sangtams 
have been pushed apart by the Sernas more recently. This 
explanation also accounts for Bengmas who had been pushed 
west by Sernas saying that they had come from the Serna 
country. Genuine Aos who have been pushed back north 
by the Lhotas are sometimes said by the other Aos to be of 
Lhota stock “ because they have come from the Lhota 
country.’’ That it is the true explanation is shown by 
Serna villages west of the Tizu being called in old maps 
MezhimahagvK, which is Angami for “ formerly Bengma.” 

In appearance the Bengma is of poorer physique than 
most of his neighbours. His dress is noticeable for a very 
handsome cloth of broad black and white bands with three 
or four narrow red stripes down each side of the cloth. The 
women whose husbands have done the necessary gennas 
wear a dark blue or black cloth ornamented with cowries 
arranged in circles or trefoils. The wearing of cowries by 
women is noticeable, as among Nagas generally cowries 
are worn by men only, though the Serna women wear a 
string of cowries round the waist. The cloth worn by the 
Dayang valley Sernas closely resembles that of the Bengmas. 
Ceremonial (kess as worn by the Bengmas resembles that 
of the Sernas except in the case of the Angami shield (used 
also by the Dayang vaUey Sernas), the Lhota lengta,” and 

^ Many must have been driven out of land now occupied by Sernas, 
a process which generally seems to cause legends of this sort, and there is 
no doubt some admixture of Serna blood, particularly in the Inseni-Kotsenu 
division of the tribe. 



a sash approximating to the Angami pattern. Cane leggings 
are worn as by the Angamis, and the Bengmas who migrated 
into the Mihir Hills still retain the black pissdhy or cane 
rings, worn by the Angamis below the knee. The Rengma 
cuts his hair like the Serna, but generally shaving the head 
a good deal higher — ^that is when he does cut his hair, for 
he frequently allows it to grow untrimmed and unkempt. 
The Naked Rengmas are reklly naked, wearing no ‘‘ lengta ’’ 
at all, and, in the case of Sohemi, are remarkably expert 
swimmers and divers. 

The Rengma village generally resembles an Angami 
village, but the house is built with porch resembling an apse 
in shape. Morungs arc built and used, being of more 
importance than among the Angamis and Sernas. The 
polity of the village resembles that of a Lhota village. 

Jhuming ’’ is the only form of cultivation in the Western 
Rengmas, but the Naked Rengmas have excellent terraces. 
Themokedima is noted for its blacksmiths. 

The Rengmas are divided into two clearly distinguished 
linguistic groups talking different languages. The southern 
villages are known with reference to their language as 
TseminyUy and the northern as Inseni-Kotsenu, In Tesifima 
village one clan speaks the latter and one the former. The 
Tseminyu are divided into Ketenenyu, calling their fathers 
aphu and their mothers avyo, and Azonyu using the terms 
apyu and apfsii respectively. The Inseni-Kotsenu appear 
to use apa and azha throughout. Among the Tseminyu, the 
Azonyu are divided into exogamous clans, as are the Inseni- 
Kotsenu Rengmas, but the Ketenenyu, although divided 
into a considerable number of patronymic septs, form a 
group still exogamous, at any rate in the large village of 
Themokedima, the different septs never intermarrying, but 
taking wives from the Azonyu or elsewhere. 

In religion the Rengmas resemble the Angamis and Sernas, 
and their gennas roughly correspond. As among the 
Angamis, there is a female “ first reaper,” and stone-pulling 
is practised. 

The Rengma is ordinarily monogamous, but sometimes 
takes a second wife and builds a separate house for her. 



The Rengma folklore and traditions approximate closely 
to those of the Sernas and Angamis, with whom they claim a 
common origin. They know the legend of the Kezakenoma 
stone, and add to the legend given me at Kezakenoma by 
saying that the stone was defiled as Atalanta defiled the 
temple of Zens, in order to expel the god. 

Sir George Grierson’s “ Linguistic Survey of India ” 
contains a note on the Rengma language, and a short 
vocabulary, but of the Tseminyu dialect only. A list of 
words of both dialects has been given in Part VI. 

Lhota (Kyong) (called Chizima by Angamis, Choimi 
by Sernas, Tsindrr by Aos). 

The Lhotas who call themselves Kyong arc located to the 
north-east of the Angami and Rengma country, having the 
Sernas to the east of them and the Aos to the north-east. 
They are divided into two divisions, Liye, comprising the 
villages to the north of the Dayang river, and Ndreng, those 
located to the south of it. This division into Liye and 
Ndreng is dependent purely on locality, and the variation of 
customs between the two is very small, and no more than 
the presence between them of a river impassable for at least 
four months in the year would account for. According to 
existing traditions, the Lhotas moved north from the 
country now occupied by the Angamis, some of them crossing 
the Dayang near Changsang at the edge of the plains where 
the Bagti stream joins it, and others going north through or 
round the Rengma country. The villages of Pangti and 
Okotso mention in their gennas the name of a site called 
Haimung near Keromichomi in the Serna country, where 
their villages were located till a large number of persons 
were carried off by a tiger. They came to Haimung from the 
direction of the Themoketsa HiU (the Lhota name for it has 
the same meaning as the Angami name, the place of the 
killing of the fowl ”), having come originally from the direction 
of Manipur. Some fragments of stone, apparently meteoric, 
are still shown in Pangti as having been broken off the stone 
on which the paddy put to dry became miraculously doubled 


Ln()^'\s, Thk s'I’onk is iirii/r into a tti (jk i-'ka-mk or sc \rroij>i n(j, vs it 



[To face p. 3C2. 



and caused the quarrel separating the Angami, Serna, 
Rengma, and Lhota tribes— the stone, that is, located by 
the Angamis at Kezakenoma. The Lhotas believe that 
they left half of their tribe to the east and that each half 
regards the other as deserters from the tribe. 

During the whole of this northward movement the Lhotas 
seem to have been in conflict with the Aos, who occupied 
the greater part of the country now occupied by the Lhotas. 
At any rate, at least all the country north of the present 
bridle path from Wokha to the plains was formerly occupied 
by the Aos, and the conflict between them and the invading 
Lhotas was so persistent that the Aos are still commonly 
spoken of by the Lhotas as Uri,” “ the Enemy.” Whole 
villages of Aos were expelled, and only a few months ago a 
man of Pangti village, digging down to make a fresh founda- 
tion for his house, dug up an earthen pot full of Ao ornaments. 
It was reckoned in the village that these must be at least 
five generations old, and buried when the Lhotas turned 
the Aos out of the village site at Pangti. It is possible 
that the Lhota method of building has been affected by the 
occupation of Ao villages, perhaps taken over as they stood, 
for hke the Ao the Lhota builds in streets, though he erects 
stones to commemorate his gennas in rows down the middle 
of the street. Further, while the Ao builds his house with a 
raised bamboo floor, using earth, like the Kuki, only for the 
hearth, the Lhota, while sometimes building on the ground 
with a “ machan ” outside at the back only, more often 
than not builds with a raised floor of bamboo which he 
covers with earth all over, a process which makes the house 
as dirty and verminous as if it were built on the ground, 
and rather suggests that he found the Ao floor draughty or 
for some other reason objectionable, and saved himself the 
trouble of building a new house by just earthing it over, 
and having once started the practice, adhered to it. How- 
ever this may be, it is likely enough that there is an admixture 
of Ao blood in the Lhotas, for it is common for an invading 
tribe to incorporate into itself small bodies of the invaded. 
The Changs incorporated what were once the Ao villages of 
Noksan, Longla, and Litam in this way, while the Sernas 



across the Tizu mix and intermarry freely with the Sangtam 
and Yachumi tribes, at whose expense they are migrating 
eastward and seem to have already absorbed large numbers 
of Tukomi Sangtams into their tribe. 

An admixture of Ao blood might partly account for the 
resemblance dwelt on by Sir George Grierson between the 
Ao and Lhota tongues, but in character the Lhota is almost 
everything that the Ao is not. The Lhota is quiet, not 
quarrelsome, and has plenty of pluck. He is warhke and 
excels in hunting and tracking, fearlessly engaging tiger, 
buffalo, bison, and elephant. The Ao, on the other hand, 
can never hold his tongue at all ; he chatters even on the 
warpath, a characteristic which has often been his con- 
founding ; he is preposterously litigious — ^worse far than 
the Angami, since he litigates about mere words, whereas 
the Angamis usually have at least a water dispute behind 
their quarrels. His sole notion of hunting is to dig a pitfall, 
and as for warfare the Ao is notoriously cowardly. Before 
the annexation of his country he used to get cut up in 
batches of sometimes as many as two to three hundred by 
quite small bodies of Lhotas, Sernas, Changs, and Konyaks. 
In religious life the Lhota is less superstitious than the Ao, 
while the family life of the Lhota is far from being charac- 
terised by the habitual infidelity by which that of the Ao 
is distinguished from his neighbours. 

In dress the Lhota resembles the Serna and Rengma. 
He weai-s a “ lengta,” however, and not a mere flap like the 
Serna, the “ lengta ” being white or blue with three red 
horizontal stripes. His cloths are very carefully graded 
according to the position of the wearer. Plain dark blue 
or plain white cloths called SinimuJcshi (=“ white and 
black cloths with alternate blue and white stripes, Sitamm^ 
and dark blue cloths with a broad blue band, Shipang, may 
be worn by anybody ; Shipang being also worn by women 
as a petticoat. After a man’s first social genna, called 
WozhetaksUy the cloth Pangdrop (black with red stripes with 
a narrow white^ band down the middle) is worn ; on the 
next genna, SMshang, the stripes are widened, while some 

^ In the Ndreng villages it is a broad blue band. 



of the Ndreng Lhotas, who wear Pa^igchang (black with 
three red stripes down each side) instead of Pangdrop^ add 
red embroidered patches to PaTigchang and call it Sinyiku. 
After Shishang the genna called Eta is performed and the 
cloth Etasil is worn ; this cloth is Pangdrop with still wider 
stripes. After Eta the genna Simtso is performed, and this 
is followed by the dragging and erection of one stone, Etu, 
After the erection of this stone Etusii is worn. After this 
the genna Esham, the erection of two stones (eaham = pair), 
is performed and Eshamsil is worn. Etusii and Eshamsii 
are classed together as Lungpensil, This cloth is dark blue 
with five stripes, about 1| to 2 inches broad, of lighter 
blue, and also with narrow marginal stripes on each side, 
three in the case of Etusii and four in the case of Eshamsil. 
The man who has put a spear into the body of an enemy, 
even if a dead one, may wear the cloth Chamtessil^ which is 
of the same pattern as Paugdrop a blue band instead 
of a white one. A warrior who has taken a head may wear 
Eokissil, of the same pattern as Pangdrop but with figures 
and patterns in black gum laid on to the white band. The 
cloths mentioned are those in use among the more Northern 
Lhotas. The others vary somewhat to the south, but the 
Lungpensil cloths are universal in the Lhota country, one 
or two villages only using yellow stripes instead of blue. 

In ceremonial dress the Northern Lhotas resemble the 
Sernas, but use the small leather shield of the Aos, Changs, 
and other central tribes. The Southern Lhotas use a 
leather shield resembling the Angami shield in shape and 
wear sashes similar to the Angami sash. 

Occasional specimens of an obsolete form of dao called 
yanXhang are to be seen among the Lhotas, but they are 
preserved as relics, not used. They belong to that type in 
which the hilt is pointed so that it can be stuck into the 
ground, as in the cases of Khasia and Garo daos. A dao 
with this type of hilt is also used by the Kabuis, while an 
illustration of a dao identical with this Kabui type is given 
by Major Butler as a Bhutanese dao (“ Sketch of Assam,’’ 
p. 190). Possibly the type is of Tibetan origin. It is the 
top dao of those figured in the illustration mentioned. 



In domestic life, agriculture, and occupation the Lhotas 
resemble the Sernas and Rengmas. The morung, however, 
is more important than among the Sernas and the Angamis, 
and there are often several in a village. The Lhotas swim 
and dive very well (using a stone carried in the waist-belt) 
and at fish “ poisonings ’’ will bring up a live mahseer 
weighing 10 or 12 lb., more or less intoxicated but still full 
of kick, which they have caught in 30 feet of water in their 
hands and mouths. They bite into the fish behind the head 
and bring it up held in that way to prevent its wriggling 
out of their grasp. They will do this sometimes in muddy 
water merely, without using any “ poison.’’ The Lhotas 
also make dug-out boats which they use on the Dayang. 
No other tribe in the Naga Hills District makes boats of 
this sort, though the Aos and Konyaks of Tamlu make 
bamboo rafts. 

In internal organisation the Lhota is ver}^ similar to the 
Angami. The polity of the Lhota village, like that of the 
Angami village, is democratic, and the exogamous system 
of the Lhotas corresponds very closely to that of the Angamis. 
There is a division of the tribe into two bodies, one of which 
call their mothers Ayo and the other Apvu, The former 
are again divided into two groups, Muripvi and Ngulipvi, 
as in the case of the subdivision of the Angami Kepepoma 
into Thevoma and Sachema. The latter remain in one 
group, Chammipvi. The Lhota name for father, however, is 
constant, aU thi’ee using apo. The real names of the three 
groups are Mipongsandri ^ and Jzumontsurre^ calling their 
mothers ayo, and Tompyaktzerre, calling their mothers 
apvu. Each of these groups is divided into a number of 
clans {Chibu), which in the northern villages are still exo- 
gamous, but which in some villages have become subdivided 
to a considerable extent. The names of these clans are in 
each case the names of the founders of the clan, who were 
originally brothers, the Mipongsandri clans being descended 
from four brothers the sons of one man, and similarly with 
the others. The name of the eldest brother is sometimes 

^ I am not sure of the correctness of the term " Mipongsandri*^ for this 



used to indicate the group, and hence the terms Muripvi, 
Ngulipvi, and Chammipvi. The groups are divided thus : — 





Principal Clans. 

Muri, Uthiu, Yamthang, Izong, 
Nguli, Shitri, Humtsoi, Kithang, 
Mozoi, Thungwe. 

Chammi, Kikong, Pathong, Tsoboi, 

The Lhota is ordinarily polygynous to the extent of having 
two wives. Three are sometimes married. A rich man 
almost always takes a second wife when he does an important 
genna, if he does not happen to have two at the time, and 
sometimes takes a third if he has. The girls are married 
young, and bride-prices are often high, varying from Rs.20/- 
to Rs.150/-. This price is paid in instalments which some- 
times extend over ten years or so and constitute some 
guarantee of the wife’s good behaviour, as if she gives 
trouble the instalments are apt to cease. Divorce is common, 
the reason being the youth of the brides. Whereas among 
the Sernas and the Angami girls are always consulted before 
they are married, the Lhotas marry their daughters off with- 
out consulting them, and when they grow a little older they 
develop inclinations of their own. In most if not all 
villages it is the practice for a man to allow a brother or 
near relation on the father’s side to enjoy his wife when 
he is absent from home for any length of time, but when 
this is done specific permission is given, and unless given, 
any interference with a man’s wife during his absence 
would entail a claim to compensation. Any sexual relation 
between members of the same exogamous clan is strictly 

In his religious ideas the Lhota differs little from his 
neighbours. ‘‘ Apotia ” or accidental deaths, corresponding 
to Angami Sesho, entail the throwing away entirely of all 
the dead man’s property, and his house must be vacated 
and left to fall to pieces, its occupant going to live in a rough 
shelter in the jungle near the village for thirty days. His 
eschatology has been noticed in speaking of that of the 
Angamis. He believes in a village of the dead inside Wokha 



Hill on the road to which he must struggle with the spirit 
EchlivanthanOy to whom he gives a bead (tied to the dead 
man’s wrist), in return for which Echlivanthano gives him a 
drink of water. The village gennas are regulated by an 
official known as Putiy whose functions correspond to those 
of the Serna Awou. The Lhotas used to take oaths by, and 
still venerate, a huge boulder on the ridge of the Changkikung 
range close to Lakuti village. This boulder is called Diulung 
and is believed to fight with a similar boulder, on the same 
ridge but much further to the north, called Changchanglung, 
Changchanglung is in the Ao country near Waromung 
village. Diulung used to fight with other stones also, and 
fought with a great boulder at Limgithang called Tarrlung, 
which it succeeded in overthrowing, so that the latter fell 
into the middle of the Dayang river, where it now is. When 
the floods rise above Tarrlimg’s head the surrounding fields 
suffer great damage. These beliefs as to the fighting stones, 
Diulung, etc., may be compared to the Khasi stones of 
U KyUang and U Symper mentioned by Colonel Gurdon 
in his book on the Khasis (p. 170). Generally speaking, 
the folklore of the Lhotas is intimately, sometimes verbally, 
related to that of the Angamis and Sernas, and has far more 
in common with it than with that of the Aos. There is a 
story current in some Lhota villages of a cave (other than 
the cave of the dead) in Wokha Hill painted with pictures 
of every sort of man and animal and with a mysterious 
writing. There is, however, only one man living who claims 
to have seen it, and he has forgotten the way back though 
he has often tried to find it. He is a man of Niroyo village. 
Probably the story is a myth. 

The Lhotas accepted British rule fairly readily ; they 
had a legend that the swallows had foretold the coming of 
a white race which would unite all Nagas under one rule, 
and warned the Lhotas not to fight against this race. 

The Lhotas are a particularly musical tribe and pick up 
bugle calls and English tunes very readily. They play the 
former on long wooden trumpets ; the latter are, of course, 
only learnt by occasional individuals whom I have known 
to play them on the tin whistle or the concertina, learnt 



purely by ear. The best song in the Lhota country is said 
to be that composed on the death of Mr. Noel Williamson 
in the Abor country. He had been for several years 
Subdivisional Officer of Mokokchung in the Naga Hills. 
The song was composed by the Lhota coolies who went 
as carriers on the Abor expedition that exacted punishment 
for his death, and the first two stanzas run as follows, repe- 
titions and meaningless sounds interpolated in singing 
being omitted : — 

Chopa tyindro okaro Williamson, Williamson, youngest of the sons of 

the Sahibs, 1 

Ndi ’rina tchhiicho la ? What enemy killed you ? 

Kipangri na tchhiicho. He died at the hands of men of 


Yantsuosen elammdo wocho alo ? Did you go for gain of money ? 

Nyingthang elammdo wocho la ? Or did you go for the sake of honour ? 

Mongsanguri elammdo wocho Sana? Or did you go to kill an enemy T 

Chopa tyindroi panina The great ones for some of our young 


Nchingtsungo wothan erhema tsata This very day are coming to take to 

go with them. 

Pongla yingsang kumoina tchhii- On what mountain did ho die ? 
chola ? 

Zakto echa ! Show us quickly ! 

Kipang tyindro pani chenini. Two brothers, men of Kipang 

Ndotsosi etsuo Williamson tsen- Why did you kill Williamson 
sochola ? Sahib ? 

For the Lhota language the best authorities are the Rev. 
W. E. Witter — “ Outline Grammar of the Lhota Naga 
Language,” Calcutta, 1888 — and Sir George Grierson’s 
‘‘ Linguistic Survey.” Neither, however, contains any 
specimen of the language. It has been mentioned that Sir 
George Grierson has classed Lhota with the central Naga 
languages. He bases his classification on the position of 
the negative, but notices that Angami shows a trace of the 
negatives preceding the verbal root in m'bawe (==is not). 
He might also have instanced a similar trace in Serna, 
where the ordinary word for ‘‘ don’t know’ ’ is wM {<^mo iti 
ani). The Serna and Lhota vocabularies show a number of 
similarities, : — Serna apu (= boy), Lhota epue (male), 

^ The youngest of many sons is believed to be the best of them all. 

® Kipang — ^the village which was responsible for Mr. Williamson’s 

B B 



Serna iUi or aliy Lhota due (= girl), likewise the suffixes 
-khu (Serna) and -kho (Lhota) to denote the female of 
animals, and such words as iva (Lhota) and diveh (Serna) 
leech, for which the Angami again is rem. The Aos call 
it pavgchu or pangchi, 

A monograph on the Lhota tribe is at present being 
written by Mr. J. P. Mills, now Assistant Commissioner at 

(3) Central Group. 

The difference between the Western and Central groups 
has already been dwelt on. One characteristic which holds 
good of all the tribes here classed as “ Central,” except the 
Chang and Phom, is the use of the termination -rr or -rii or 
-re to denote the men of a given village or tribe, turning a 
place name into a collective noun.^ 

Ao (Aorb) (called ChoUmi by Sernas, ?7nor Chongli by 
Lhotas, Aorr by Sangtams,i4o by Change, Pdimi by Konyaks). 

The Aos claim to have come from six stones called 
Lung-trok {lung = stone, trok == six) on the hill of Chong- 
liemdi east of the Dikhu, and more or less opposite Longsa 
village. 2 There is a legend that the Aos, Changs, and Sernas 
were all one, but there was so little room at Lungtrok that 
they split up, the Changs going one way, the Sernas another, 
and the Aos coming west across the Dikhu. This legend, 
however, does not agree with the Chang and Serna accounts 
of their own origin, the Serna in particular disclaiming any 

^ See Assam Census of 1891, p. 175. Mr. Clark denies that it means 
“man,” and says it is the present tense of an old verb “to be.” For 
every example given by Mr. Clark, however, there is an exact parallel 
in the use of the Serna termination -mi, which is identical with the Angami 
-ma. Whatever the precise original mecming of the terminations >7na, 
-mif and •rr, they have clearly the same force in use, and there is no reason 
why the words for “ man ” and for “ being *’ should not be in some cases 
virtually equivalent. 

® Mrs. Clark (“ Ao Naga Grammar”) gives a legend of the Chongli to the 
effect that they and some Ahoms came into the Ao country together, 
the Aos settling at Chongliemdi and the Ahoms at Longmisa (or Tsimer 
menden Plainsmen’s site) ; the Mongsen Aos being also settled near 
Chongliemdi when the Chongli were at Chongliemdi itself. 

[Front n phofoiiinph In Mt Shnftlrn orfh 



connection with the Ao, whom he scorns, and derives his 
origin from Japvo mountain to the south. The Aos at one 
time inhabited the country now occupied by the Lhotas, or 
at any rate aU of it as far south as Chingaki at the least, and 
the Serna country as far south as Emilomi and the Kileki 
river, and some Aos who are said to be of Lhota origin by 
their brother Aos seem to have been Aos who came north- 
east again when driven out of their villages by the Lhotas. 

The people of Yacham and Yiong, and also of Tangsa, 
all just east of the Dikhu, which is the Ao border, seem to 
be very closely connected with the Aos, though speaking 
somewhat different dialects. 

Though he frcquentty brags of his prowess the Ao is by 
far the greatest coward of all Nagas. He is, however, an 
excellent carrier. The women are good-looking, but the 
men, except in Nankam village, are perhaps of poorer 
physique than their neighbours. In dress and weapons the 
Ao has borrowed much from his neighbours. The present Ao 
“ lengta ” is believed by the Lhotas to have been copied 
from theirs, while the ceremonial “ lengta ” is called Moiya 
langtam == ‘‘ Serna apron.” The men are not tattooed, but 
the women are tattooed on the chin, neclc, bosom, arms, 
and legs. The patterns of the arms and legs are different 
for Mongsen and Chongli women, but the four vertical 
marks on the chin running down into an X pattern zigzag 
of two lines ending between the breasts is the same for both. 
The tattooing is done with an adze-shaped implement set 
with cane thorns hke the bristles of a tooth-brush, only 
much longer. The end of this implement is hammered into 
the body with a hammerlike root and the process is exces- 
sively painful. Girls being tattooed have to be held down 
by several men, and the process occasionally cripples a girl 
for life, and sometimes causes her death. The women wear 
brass rings on their heads (rather like the Eastern Angami, 
but threefold instead of single) and great squares or circles 
of crystal in the lobes of their ears.^ In ceremonial dress they 
cover themselves with bells. The Chongli women tie their 

^ A precisely similar ornament is worn by the Tangkhul women, in the 
Somra tract, who say that they get them from the plains of Burma. 

B B 2 



hair with black plaits of human hair, the Mongsen women 
with white cotton. 

The Ao house is built on a machan, all except the front 
room, which serves the purpose of a porch and a pigsty. 
The fireplace is made on a square covered with earth as in 
a Kuki house. The village is built in streets with the eaves 
of the houses touching one another, so that a fire runs from 
one end of the village to the other. It is usually situated 
on the top of a ridge rather than on a spur like the Angami 
village. There is an excellent description of an Ao village, 
taken from a Survey report by Colonel Woodthoipe, in the 
Assam Census of 1891 (p. 242). The Ao’s house is cleaner 
than the houses of the Western Nagas, but his feeding 
habits are filthy, as the Ao never washes any of his utensils ; 
he will offer you drink in a cup caked with the dirt of years, 
and cooks and brews in like vessels, offering in this respect 
a great contrast to his Serna and Lhota neighbours. His 
person, too, is usually dirtier even than the rather grimy 
Serna, and as he smokes incessantly and never cleans his 
pipe, he always stinks of tobacco fouling and nicotine. The 
women smoke too, using both wooden and iron or brass 

The Ao community is controlled nominally by a council 
of elders {tatdr), who deal with disputes in the community 
and usually exact a fee for the dealing of justice, or injustice, 
for they are by no means always fair. The tdtdr also, on 
payment of a fee, allow members of the community to put 
on boar-tusk necklaces, cowrie gauntlets, warriors’ cloths, 
and other insignia of war and head-hunting which have not 
been earned in any way at all except by the payment of 
three or four rupees. 

The Aos are divided into two groups, distinguished by the 
language used. These two groups, Chongli and Mongsen, 
exist side by side in many Ao villages, speaking dialects so 
distinct that they might almost be called different languages. 
Not unnaturally in the majority of Ao villages one dialect 
or the other has got the upper hand and become the ordinary 
language of the village, but there are villages in which there 
are, here and there, both Mongsen Aos ignorant of the 



Oliongli and Chongli Aos ignorant of the Mongsen dialect, 
and it is common for Chongli and Mongsen Aos conversing 
together to speak each his own language. The word for 

father ” varies httle, being oba in Chongli and aba in 
Mongsen, but the word for mother ” is oclia in ChongU and 
ave (or avil) in Mongsen, except in the Yimchen clan (Mongsen 
Airr) of Nankam, where the word for mother is ala, Chongli 
and Mongsen are alike divided into three exogamous clans 
{kidong), Pongen, Langkam, and Chami, who take precedence 
in that order, and may not intermaiTy even with th(^ 
corresponding kidong of the opposite hnguistic division.^ 
Although the exogamous nature of these units still persists, 
many sub -clans have come into existence. Both the clans 
and sub-clans arc, generally speaking, patronymic. They 
observe a number of food tabus, some of which are men- 
tioned in the Appendix on Totemism. There seems to be 
no conscious totemism underlying these food tabus. 

In religious observances the Aos are noticeably more 
])rolific than their neighbours. At the Tsingemung genna 
the young men and girls have a tug of war. The men have 
to pull uphill, but there is little real pulling. The women 
sing while pulling. The war-drum is looked upon almost 
as a village god. When it is burnt a new one is carved out 
of a whole tree and pigs and chickens are sacrificed to it. 
The priest harangues it and calls upon it, among other 
things, to protect the village from venereal diseases, after 
which it is dragged to the village. ^ Amung (abstention 
from work, Angami penim) is found, and so are other gennas 
<jf various sorts. Contributions are levied yearly for the 
performance of sacrifices and for the entertainment of 
distinguished guests. This levy has recently been divided 
by order of Government into two parts, in order that the 
Christian Aos, of whom there is an increasing number (it 

^ Mrs. Clark mentions a tradition to the effect that there was a time when 
the Chongli and Mongsen did not intermarry at all. I once asked an old 
Ao of position whether he knew of a time when the Chongli and Mongsen 
did not intermarry. He eaid he had never heard of such a tradition, but 
that as they spoke different languages it was possible ; until comparatively 
recently Ao-Sangtam marriages were rare. 

Compare the pulling of a village door by Angamis. 



pays the Ao financially to turn Christian), may not be called 
on to bow the knee in the house of Rimmon. The levy for 
the entertainment of distinguished guests is called Aksii, 
The guest is given a definite part of the animal slain and 
the rest is eaten by the elders. There is a special branch of 
Ahsil known as Sibainga Aksiit levied in the clan for the 
entertainment of related clans in other villages, in order to 
keep up the memory of the relationship ; at times of 
distress certain nominal services are expected from a clan 
in one village by its relation in another —, when a village 
is burnt related clans send a small present, a couple of daos 
and some rice, or something of that sort, to the village in 
trouble,^ while if a man dies away from home it is the 
duty of the nearest clan related to the one to which he 
belongs to bring home his corpse. There is nothing religious 
in the Sibainga Ak$u. 

Egg-brealdng is practised by the Aos for the taking of 
omens, the omen being determined by the fall of the pieces 
of the shell, as among the Khasis (Colonel Gurdon, “ The 
Khasis,’’ p. 106 ), though with less elaboration. No board 
is used ; any flat stone will do. 

The Ao method of taking oaths contrasts with that 
followed by all the western group of Nagas. Both parties 
must take the oath (by biting a bit of the disputed land, 
sacrificing a chicken, etc.) and an account is kept for thirty 
days, and whichever suffers a misfortune (from his own 
iUness or death to the loss of a chicken or a pig, or even the 
most trivial mishap conceivable) within that time loses the 
oath. A form of ordeal is also practised, both parties 
beheading a chicken. The party which fails to make a 
clean job of it in one stroke loses. 

The Aos are notorious for the unchastity of their women. 
Divorce cases are never-ending. From a tender age girls 
are free to do as they like before marriage, and are thus with 
diiBficulty prevented from doing so afterwards. The un- 
married girls sleep in small houses, built for the purpose, 
in twos and threes, and the unmarried men sleep with them, 

* When such a present is given one village to another it is called 
ubocha (“ father calling ’'). 


1. An KiR'iny’s IFiind Pinned to a Pole. 

2. A H.i.h\ 's Head a< the Suininil of a Pole 

2. (lonrds on Suninnt ot Pules containing portions oi Kneiny Heads 

I To face p. 375 



only the quite young boys remaining in the morung.” 
The Ao house has no outer room, as the Serna and the 
Angami houses have, that is convenient to sleep in, and it 
is regarded as improper for any except very small children 
to sleep in the same room as their parents. The result is 
that quite young children sleep in the morung ’’ or in 
the gMs’ houses. The Christian villages have resorted to a 
girls’ dormitory with an aged dame in charge, but it may be 
doubted whether they are very much more chaste than their 
heathen sisters. 

When dead, the Ao is smoked in his own porch and 
buried on a j)latform with his ornaments, utensils, and 
weapons, or with wooden imitations of them. 

The Ao legends and folklore approximate more closely to 
those of the Sangtams and Changs than to those of the 
Lhotas and Sernas. They do not seem to know the story 
of the Kezekenoma Stone, but many of their stories, unknown 
to the Western Nagas, are identical with those of the Changs. 

The chief authorities for the Ao language are Sir George 
Grierson (“ Linguistic Survey of India,” vol. iii, part ii, 
pp. 269 et seq,) and Mrs. E. W. Clark (“ Ao Naga Grammar, 
with Illustrative Phrases and Vocabulary,” Shillong, 1893). 
The latter deals with the Chongli dialect only. The dialect 
spoken by Changki and some of the neighbouring villages 
differs much from the ordinary Mongsen dialect, of which 
it seems to be a branch. 

Sangtam (Pire, — Isachanuee) (called Lophomi or 
Tukomi by Sernas, Sangtamnr by Aos, Sangtam by 

This tribe appears at one time to have stretched right 
down the east border of the Aos and Sernas from the Chang 
country to that of the Tangkhuls and Naked Rengmas, but 
has become separated into two divisions by an eastward 
movement of the Sernas and a westward movement of the 
Yachumi. The tribe is now divided into two or three 
distinct groups, the northern separated by Serna and 
Yachumi villages from the rest. The northern group known 



to the Aos aB “ Sangtamrr ” from their principal village, 
seem to call themselves Pirr, while the central group arc 
said by Mr. Davis (Grierson, ‘‘ Linguistic Survey,” vol. iii, 
part, ii, p. 290) to call themselves Isachanure, though Tsingare 
was the form given me by Yezatsimi. The two groups, 
northern and central, are called by the Sernas Lophomi and 
Tukomi respectively, and these two words have been used 
in this book to distinguish these two groups of this tribe. 
The third group I have called South Sangtam. It includes 
the villages of Primi, Photsimi, Phozami, and probably 
Thachumi and Thomami, all of which adjoin the Naked 
Rengmas. Temimi is partly South Sangtam, partly Naked 
Rengma. Karami, Niemi, and other villages to the east 
belong to the Kalyo-Kengyu tribe and not to the South 

Little is known about the tribe generally. The Lophomi 
group seems to resemble the Aos most nearly, though finer 
in physique and greatly superior in war and hunting. The 
Tukomi group, which used to extend quite as far west as 
the Tizu valley, has mixed a good deal with eastward-going 
Sernas, who quickly gain the ascendancy in most Sangtam 
villages which they enter. 

As in the case of the Aos, the women arc tattooed in the 
calf and arm* but the men not at all. In many villages the 
women are also tattooed on the forehead and cliin. 

The language is classed by Sir George Grierson as Central. 
Mr. Davis mentions that it resembles Lhota in sound. 

Like all the central Naga tribes except the Aos, the 
Sangtam use the crossbow, which is not employed by any 
of the western tribes, except by such villages of the Sernas 
and Naked Rengmas as have borrowed it from their Tukomi 
neighbours. In their dress the northern Sangtams resemble 
the Changs, while the southern dress more like the Yachumi. 

The course of Sangtam migration is said to have been 
from Yatsimi to Yezatsimi (both ‘^Tukomi ”) ; thence to. 
Katarimi (now Scma), thence to Kungizzu (a vacant site 
in what is nOw Serna territory), and thence to Tsantomghi,' 
where the village of Sangtam was founded whence all the 
‘‘ Lophomi ’’ villages derive their origin. The Pirr villagers 



themselves, however, merely told me that they came from 
Chongliemdi, still in Sangtam territory but on the lino of 
the above sketched migration. 

Yachumj (Yaohongr). (called Yachumi by Sernas, 
Ymnsongrr by Aos, Yamchongrr by Sangtams, Yamsuiig by 


This tribe, calling itself ‘ Yachongr and called Yachumi 
by the Sernas, is situated at the head of the Tita Valley 
and borders on the Changs, the Sangtams (on two sides), 
and the Sernas (on the west). 

Little is known about the Yachumi. The termination in 
-rr suggests a fairly close connection with the Aos, as in the 
case of Sangtams. The Yachumi are less warlike than the 
Sernas, who dominate the nearer villages and take tribute 
from them. The Changs, however, claim close kinship with 
the Yachumi. 

The Yachumi use a shoulder-headed hoe not unlike that 
of the Khasis (see Colonel Gurdon’s monograph, p. 12). 
The Yachumi name for it is thou, the blade alone being called 
yuTichi, The Yachumi are said to bury their dead beneath 
the deceased s bed, throwing out the bones of any of his 
ancestors that are encountered in the process. The Kiungrr 
clan of the Yachumi is believed to correspond to the Awomi 
clan of Sernas. 

The Yachumi do not appear to tattoo. 

Chang (called Mochumi by Sernas, Mochmigrr by Aos, 

Machongrr by Sangtams, Mojung by Konyaks of Tamlu). 

This tribe, sometimes spoken of as Mozung,’’ is situated 
across the Dikhu to the east of the Ao country. Its principal 
village is Tuensang (or ‘‘ Mozungjami ’"), and from this village 
all or most of other Chang villages are derived. The tribe 
is very warlike, being second to none, not excepting the 
Sernas. They are of fine physique, tall but lean. They 
wear a small lengta ” like the Serna lapuchoh, and that 
worn* by Sangtams and Yachumis, worked in red dog’s 
hair and with a circle of cowries. The Chang belt is very 
noticeable, being a band four to six inches broad, sometimes 



worked with circles, more often completely covered with 
cowries. The red dog’s hair, like the red goat^s hair on the 
dao-handle and sash, is explained as representing the fire 
which they apply to the enemy’s village ; the cowrie circles 
represent the moon ; and the trefoil and quatrefoil groups 
of three or four cowries each, with which they also embroider 

lengtas ” and belts, represent the stars, as raids are 
undertaken by night by the light of the moon and the stars. 
The dao-sling is more of the nature of a sheath than is the 
usual Naga wooden sling, as it is made of a flat piece of 
wood eight inches long with edge and guards to keep the 
dao in. The dao has a long blade and a long handle and is 
drawn from the back over the right shoulder. The Changs 
are very sldlful in the use of the crossbow and use poisoned 
arrows for hunting, but not for war, except in the case of a 
village which is hard pressed by an attacking party and 
has poisoned arrows handy. The use of poisoned arrows 
in war is regarded as unfair, and a war party does not take 
poisoned arrows with it when going on an expedition. 
Warfare among the Changs contains a number of such 

The poison on the arrow is covered with a leaf, and a man 
wounded with a poisoned arrow can save his life by cutting 
out the head before the poison under the leaf has got wetted 
by the blood, as it takes some time for the poison to get wet 
and it does not act until it does so. A man so wounded will 
eat raw gourds (because they are “ cold ”) and the dung of 
dogs and chickens because they are the nastiest things 
loiown ”). If any inconvenience is experienced from eating 
the flesh of an animal killed by a poisoned arrow, a little of 
the poison itself is eaten as medicine. The poison is made 
from the sap of a tree. 

The houses are built on the ground as far as the hearth 
and the remainder on a machan, so that the inner room is 
half on the ground and half raised. The village is built 
in streets if possible. 

The Changs have an aesthetic sense more highly developed 
than their neighbours. They practise a sort of “poker- 
work,” burning patterns on bamboo or wood, which i veiy 



handsome. The main theme of the pattern almost always 
takes the form or a variation of the form of the pattern 
tattooed on the chest of a warrior. Men who have taken 
heads are tattooed with this pattern, which resembles two 
or four conventional leaves 
springing from a common 
stem. The women have a 
diamond-shaped patch tat- 
tooed on their foreheads and 
either vertical or horizontal 
lines (the custom varies in 
different clans) on their 
cliin. They also have two 
rays tattooed from each 
corner of the mouth. This 
tattoo is put on before 
puberty is reached. After tattooing, the girl’s hair is 
allowed to grow" and she is married about two years 
later. From the time she is tattooed she has to observe 
the food tabus observed by women. Before tattooing she 
can eat all that men eat. The poker-work ornamentation 
is used for drinking-horns, pipes, dao-slings, and any other 
wood-work. The Changs are also good at cane-work, though 
their cane helmets and gauntlets are imported from the 
“ Aoshed tribe to the east of them. This tribe also makes 
the axe-shaped dao used by the Naked Rengmas and 
other tribes, which used to be used by the Changs at one 

The Chang i^olity resembles the Serna somewhat in the 
existence of chiefs in each village, though they are not so 
powerful as the Serna chiefs, since they have not the same 
monopoly of land. They also resemble the Sernas in having 
no clear dual division, for though the tattoo on the chin is 
vertical in some clans and horizontal in others, the names 
for “ father ” {apo) and “ mother ” (anija) are constant, and 
the clans seem to derive their origin from a single, not a 
dual stock. The Changs seem to be divided into the following 
clans : — Chongpo (subdivided into Shangdi, Hangwang, 

1 See below, under “ Kalyo-Kengyn.” 

Pattern tattooed on the chest 
A Chang warrior. 



Hagiyung, Ungpong, Maava), Ung, Lumao, Kangcho, and 
Kudamji. These clans are exogamous. Unmarried girls 
are not expected to be chaste.^ They sleep in the outer 
room of the house, into which the young men force their 
way at night, the girls defending themselves with sticks 
and firebrands. Intrigues of this sort are, however, usually 
followed by marriage with the lover. Strangers are never 
admitted in this way. 

The Changs have a superstitious awe of tigers and pythons. 
One of the subdivisions of the Chongpo clan (Chongpo 
Hagiyung) is regarded as being intimately connected with 
tigers, and its members are lycanthropists like the Sernas, 
while it is genna for all true Changs to touch tiger or python, 
though the former is killed when accidentally encountered 
and the latter under certain circumstances. When a tiger 
is killed the man who killed it is genna for thirty days and 
may not leave the “ morung ” during that time. Pythons 
are killed under the following circumstances. In times of 
famine someone, probably one of the most severely affected 
by the famine, will volunteer to kill a python, and everyone 
in the village will subscribe rice and salt, chillies, etc., and 
send this man out to kill a python. When the man finds a 
python he will say to the python, “ I am going to cut you 
here,” '' I am going to cut you here,” threatening it with 
his dao in different parts of his body, but not in the real 
place, as if he did this the python would turn the edge of 
his dao like a stone. He then says to the python, When I 
have cut you, give me all your wealth ” ; saying this he cuts 
him through the neck. He then throws away the dao and 
spear which he was carrying, and the clothes he was wearing, 
and returning to the village remains thirty days in the 
morung. During these thirty days he cannot cook rice in 
earthen pots, but must use bamboos only for cooking. 
Persons bringing him food must not put it into his hand, 
but place it down and go away. When this thii*ty days’ 

^ Pairs of lovers sometimes sleep together in the jungle, but while they 
have connection a bough of a tree must be pulled down for the girl to 
recline on, so that the leaves prevent the face of the man from looking at, 
or being seen by, the earth. Afterwards the bough is released and allowed 
to swing \sp again. 



genna is over, a pig is killed and the war-drum is beaten 
by the young men at dawn, and, when the men go to the 
fields, also at midday and finally at sunset. The village 
burier is sent for. He takes a chicken and lays upon its 
head all the misfortunes liable to come to the clan from 
the killing of the python. He then cuts off the chicken’s 
head and tears out its hv^;*, spitting the latter in three pieces 
on a bamboo skewer. Everyone in the clan spits on the 
chicken, the males on the fiver, and the females on the body. 
Children too small to spit have some spittle taken from their 
mouth on their parent’s finger and put on to the chicken. 
The people as they spit say that their misfortunes shall fall 
on the chicken’s head. The body and head are then impaled 
on a panji outside the village. The fiver is stuck on to an 
aiTow and tied up near the body, so that the arrow may 
drive off the avenging spirit that is angry at the python’s 

In their folklore and legends the Changs show great 
resemblance to the Aos, but the account of their origin is 
different. They believe that they came up north from the 
Tizu Valley and that they are connected with the Yachumi. 
They give the following account of the separation of the 
Naga tribes ; — 

In the begimiing a rubber tree (Chong) was felled by the 
founder of the Chongpo clan. The top branches were taken 
by the Sernas, Yachumis, Sangtams, Aos, Aoshed and 
Konyak tribes. It is the tops of trees that sing, and these 
tribes carried off the tops singing, and left only the trunk 
and roots for the Changs, and these make no sound. There- 
fore it is that the Chang songs are poor compared to the 
singing of other tribes. When the rest of the tree was 
divided the ancestor of the Ung clan said, “ I am going home ” 
(ungla). Hence the name of that clan. One share was 
spoken of as loot (Tnawu) and hence the Lumao clan. The 
ancestor of the Kangcho clan said he had lifted up (kang) 
his share. The Kudamji went to look for water, but the 
others had taken it all and there was none left, and so they 
are always poor. They get their name because when they 
went to war they came up last and only got the Icudam (the 



last and inferior share) of the enemy’s head. They are 
like the “ hilluk,” ape. It, too, was too late to get any 
water, and now never drinks from streams at all, but catches 
it in the hands from rain or off leaves. 

Some of the Changs bury their dead (inside the house), 
some expose them on platforms. In either case some six 
months to a year later the head is wrenched off or dug up 
and cleaned, and taken to the heir's house and put under 
the bed while a feast takes place, after which it is returned 
to its grave or put back under the platform, as the case 
may be. In the latter case the exposed body is buried after 
the joints have been coimted to make sure that none are 
missing. A fire is built imder the machan to show by the 
smoke which way the wind is so that the smell may be 

The Chang language is grouped by Sir George Grierson, 
who gives a vocabulary, in the eastern sub-group with the 
Konyak tribes. I am very doubtful whether I ought not 
to have grouped the Chang tribe likewise myself. In group- 
ing with the central Nagas I have relied on its folklore, 
which connects it with the Aos, on its own claims to con- 
nection with the Yachumi, and on a superficial resemblance 
to the Sangtams in appearance and in dress. The Konyak 
tribes to the north of the Phom country are naked. The 
Changs believe that about three generations ago all their 
customs and dress underwent a radical change, and that 
platform burial was then introduced because someone 
remarked that it was not possible to breathe under the 
earth. It was at this time also that the practice of tattooing 
was adopted from the Phom and Konyak tribes to the north 
and east of the Changs. 


This tribe consists of four villages only, Hukpang, Pong- 
ching, Ourangkong, and Mongnyu, and seems closely allied 
to the Changs. The tattoo pattern of the men is the same, 
but while the Changs cut their hair like Lhotas, Sernas, Aos, 
Sangtams, and Yachumi, the Phom sometimes have a lock 

I To fare p. :J83 

Konyak W\\h Trophies 

iSkiill decorated with horns of Mithan and ^ras^ ta'^<el> It i> held in the hand and ‘^wllng when dancing. 

Divided Skulls — 1. Right half : Share of firtst .‘'pear 2. Left half Share of second spear. 3. Top- Share of third spear. 
4. Front ' Share of tir«it spear when t\AO only are in at the death. 



hanging down behind, suggesting some of the Konyak tribes 
which border on them. The tattoo of the women is different 
from that of the Chang, as the Phom tattoo them on the 
legs and not on the face. The Phom women also wear 
different beads from the Chang women, though the men 
dress exactly the same. Mirinokpo or Assiringia ” village 
in the Ao coimtry, which Sir George Grierson mentions, is a 
colony from Ourangkong in the Phom country. The Phom 
expose their dead on platforms, keeping the head in the 
house for a month. 


This is a name ^ for the tribe living to the east of the Changs, 
Yachungs, and Sangtams which is used for the tribe generally 
by some of the villages of that tribe situated east of the 
Changs, whence the tribe extends southwards as far as the 
Somra tract, including, among other villages, Makware, burnt 
in 1911, Niemi, and Karami. The tribe is called Aoshed by 
the Changs, Tukhemmi, apparently, by the Sernas, and 
Para on the Burma side. This tribe is noted for its iron- 
work, its daos and spear-heads being particularly fine, also 
for red cane helmets and leggings, and for blue cloths with 
red squares of dog’s hair embroidery. Its country is so far 

(4) Eastern Group. 

Konyak Tribes (called Taprongumi or Minyumo-Nagami 
by Sernas, Mirirr by Aos, Chagh by Changs). 

I have used the word “Kdnyak” for the tribes to the 
north-east of the Aos and Changs, the group spoken of by 
Mr. Peal as “lying between the Dikhu and the Disang 
rivers and north of the Patkai ” range, and ‘‘ all reputed to 
be descendants of one village called Changnyu : a sort of 
tribe-mother to whom many of them salaam, and annually 

^ Kalyo-Kengyu *= ** Dwelling in stone (i.e. slate -roofed) houses/* slate 
being used instead of thatch for roofing, as it is the best, if not the only, 
material available locally. 



send small presents, which, however, are not tribute/^ It is 
possible, however, that I should have done better to include 
the Changs with the Konyak tribes. The names Kdnydk 
and Hdhd are applied by the people of Tamlu to themselves 
and to the very closely related tribes to the east of them, 
whose clothes, nakedness, method of hair-dressing and tattoo- 
ing present great similarities. The names both apparently 
refer to method of hair-dressing. These tribes are known 
usually by their Assamese names as Tablungias, Banparas, 
Mutonias, Namsangias, etc. Until quite recently they were 
all naked tribes, and even now only those quite near the 
edge of the plains wear an apron. This dress is, however, 
spreading further into the hiUs and the expression “ Naked 
Nagas ” for these tribes has ceased to serve. Tamlu adopted 
a short blue apron within the memory of officers now serving 
on the Assam Commission, and Wanching (Tablung), 
Wakching (Jaktoong), and the neighbouring villages, are 
now in the process of adopting it. Very tight belts are 
characteristic of the men of these people. They are made 
of cane or of the bark of the “ Agar ’’ ^ tree and reduce the 
waist of the wearer to a very small compass indeed.^ The 
hair is allowed to grow in a long tail, which in some villages 
is wound up into a knot at the back of the head about a 
wooden or bone support which passes through the hair 
horizontally. In this, and particularly in the phj^sical 
appearance of the women, some of these people remind one 
in a way of the Kuki tribes, and there would seem to be an 
undoubted touch of Shan blood in the villages round Tan- 
hai and Pungkhung (Borgaon) above Choraideo in Sibsagar. 
This is the place where the Shans are believed to have 
emerged into the plains of Assam from Burma, and later on 
an Ahom king of Sibsagar took refuge in Tanhai when 
dethroned, and married Watlong, the daughter of the chief. 
Later he was restored to his kingdom, and went down to 

^ Aquilaria agallocTia. 

- They seem to abide by Mr. Neil Munro’s way of thinking, when he 
exhorts young men to “ keep down the waist o’ ye,” since 

“ Endurance and elegance, youth, dash and daring 
Depend on the belt ye can put round your wame.” 



Olioraideo with his Naga bride, preceded by dancing and 
singing. As part of her bride-price he built a tank, a paved 
road, and a stone bridge, the remains of which may still be 
seen at Tanhai, where the footprints of the long and of his 
horse are also shown. The word used for tank in Tanhai 
is a Shan word, and other Shan words are in use in the 
language. The Konyak paen artificially blacken their 
teeth. All along the edge of the plains they are confirmed 
opium eaters. 

The houses of the Konyak tribes in the Naga Hills District 
are built partly on the ground and partly with a raised floor. 
The “ morungs ” are large and have great posts carved with 
the figures of men, tigers, snakes, monkeys, etc. The upright 
poles project through the roof and are thatched over with 
straw, which is tied in to the post at intervals, giving an 
effect decidedly suggestive of the pinnacles of Sibsagar 
and other Assamese temples. 

The Konyaks of Wanching and Wakcliing are great 
makers of daos, for which they have a large market. 

The Konyak tribes immediately east of the Ao country 
are divided into two groups, Thenthi and ThenJeoh. The 
Thendu tattoo their faces while the Thenkoh do not. The 
tattoo on the women of the two divisions is diffeient also. 
These two groups are found side by side in the same villages, 
and there is said to be a further division of the tribe generally 
into three classes,^ the chief or Ang in all villages being of 
an exclusive class which takes precedence of the other two 
and always provides chiefs.*^ The men are tattooed on 
taking a head, but in the villages recently annexed where 
heads are no longer available the young men have taken to 

' Cf, the division of the Aos into Chongli and Mongsen with different 
tattoo patterns crossed by a triple division into three clans of which the 
Pongen probably corresponds to the Ang clan though il- has not the same 
pre-eminent position in the tribe. It does, however, take precedence of 
the other two and is considered in some way superior. 

* These chiefs must be of Ang blood by both parents. An Ang (at any 
rate if he is chief of his village and not merely of the Ang clan) marries 
as his principal wife the daughter of the Ang of another village, and only 
a son of such a union can succeed to the chieftainship, though an Ang 
usually has many subsidiary wives taken from other clans, anj:l children 
by them. 



assuming the tattoo after the pretended killing of wooden 

The dead are buried on platforms like those of the Aos, 
after being smoked, but the head is wrenched off later on 
and put in an earthen pot which is thatched with palm 
leaf and put under the machan, the heads of the dead 
being ultimately collected in one place. 

The married women are in some villages quite naked. 
In others they wear a very narrow horizontal strip of cloth, 
which though sometimes only about four inches wide 
contrives to be perfectly decent. The unmarried girls 
are naked, but wear a cloth when they leave the house, 
at any rate when there are strangers about. 

There is in several superficial details a likeness to Angami 
Nagas, otherwise so extremely different, which must be more 
than fortuitous, and suggests that at some time the tribes 
were in contact one with another, or in common touch with 
some other people from whom they borrowed the same habits. 
Although none of the tribes in between wear them, both 
the Angami and Konyak tribes wear the cane knee-rings, 
though the Konyaks dye theirs red. Both tribes, and 
none of those intervening, make a bugle of the buffalo horn. 
Again, both the Konyak tribes and the Angamis weave pre- 
cisely the same variety of palm-leaf rain-cloak worn by none 
of the tribes in between. Rain-hats too, though not of 
quite the same pattern, are very similar, and again are not 
used in the same way by the intervening tribes. In one 
Konyak village I found a woman making twine and cloth 
of fibre exactly like that used by the Angamis, and called 
gakeh. This is not used by Sernas, Lhotas, or Aos, though 
the Yachumi are said to make cloth from nettle fibre (Angami 
wiive). Finally, the Angami method of hair-dressing, 
leaving a lock behind and tying it into a knot and wearing 
a fringe in front, also suggests the Konyak method. 

“Notes on the Naga Tribes in Communication with 
Assam,’’ by John Owen (Calcutta, 1884, W. H. Carey & Co.), 
deals with Konyak tribes. Sir George Grierson gives a 
survey of the language spoken by them in his “ Linguistic 
Survey of India” (Vol. Ill, Pt. II, p. 320). Mr. S. E. 



Peal’s Eastern Nagas of the Tirap and Namtsik ” {Journal 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal^ No. 1 of 1896, p. 9) deals 
with related tribes, as also does the same author’s Visit 
to the Tribes inhabiting the Hills south of Sibsagar ” (J.A.S.B. 
Pt. I, No. 1, 1872), and the account of “the Nagas” in 
Major Butler’s “ Sketch of Assam ” (Smith, Elder, 1847). 

C C 2 



Jfames UBed by some oj tJie Naga Trihea 
(The name the tribe uses for 

Names of the 
tribes in common 
use in English. 

















/Molyarr ^ 

1 (Mongsen)l 

1 Simrr j 

1 (Chongll) ) 
















(< name of 
village Nan- 

/Uri(- “the 
( enemy ”) 


Sangtam (northern) 

„ (others) 


Lophomi \ 
Tukoml i 




















1 nagami 




Kacha Naga 

sui^tly differ- 
enuy from the 
word for 





Foreigner (of the 






N.B. — ^The Angami word for the Bengmas, Mezhama or Mezama, is also used for all the 
Aos for the Benvnas and any one else to the south of them. In a similar way the Sernas use the 
indefinitely. The names Konyfik and Haha are used in Tamlu and Wakching for their own 



for one another and for foreigners. 
itself is printed in italics.) 






Kacha h"aga. 






/Dawansa (Kachari) 
\Gnamei (Manipuri) 










/’Lhota Xaga Miklai 

1 (both used by 
{ the Assamese . 

Miklai < the 

1 village Mekula) 



Pal mi 


llathiguria (Assam- 

















(?) Mojung 








1 or Hdha 


“ Lensta Naga,*' 
Namsangia, etc. 


Zemi j 

Lyengmai j 

Maruongniai j 











Chang Haung 
i.e. Burmese) 


- 1 


otiier tribes north and iiorth<east of them collectively, just as the Ao word, Honrr, is used by the 
expression Tushomi for the tribes to the north and east of them—Sangtam, Yaohumi, Chang, etc. 
and similar tribes and refer primarily to the method of hair-dressing. 



1 HAVE said nothing about Totemism in the text of this 
monograph, as i have not been able to discover any trace 
of it, or of anything approaching it, among the patronymic 
and omnivorous clans of the Angamis. There are, however, 
one or two traces of ideas which may be totemistic among 
other tribes, and as the close connection of the Naga tribes 
is indisputable, it is possible that these ideas are, or have 
been, also present among the Angamis, particularly as the 
various clans of one tribe often point to clans of other 
tribes with which they believe themselves related. The 
belief in such a relationship usually seems to be based on 
pure tradition, such as that connecting the Lankamrr clan 
of the Aos with the Shitri clan of the Lhotas. Other 
reasons, such as similar food restrictions, are said to exist. 
If they do exist, it is possible that they indicate an organi- 
sation in exogamous clans dating back to a time before the 
present division into tribes speaking different languages. 
On the other hand, thi’ee of the clans of Lazemi of the 
Sernas claim connection with some of the clans of the 
Angami village of Kohima, but the connection seems to be 
based on an admixture of blood, which may be the real 
reason of all such alleged relationships between clans of 
different tribes. 

Among non-totemistic tribes one might expect to find 
traces of totemism, if any existed, in stories of their origin, 
and in their tabus on foods, and here and there we find, not 
only a story of descent from some animal or plant, but 
also a corresponding tabu. These, however, are very rare. 




Among the Lhotas we have the Tsoboi clan of the Tompyak- 
tserre phratry, which traces its descent to a woman who was 
weaving, when a hornbill {Dichoceros bicornis) flew over 
and dropped a tail feather into the partially woven cloth. 
She put the feather into her waist-belt (or wove it into the 
cloth) and became pregnant as a result. Some members 
of the Tsoboi clan and the allied clans of Chammi and 
Kikong abstain from the fl^sh of the great hornbill, but the 
tabu is neither universal in the clans nor very strict, nor 
is it prohibited to kill the hornbill. There is a corresponding 
clan among the Aos ; the Wozakumrr kindred of the Pongen 
clan have a similar story of their origin and tabu the flesli 
of the hornbill. In the story of the Wozakumrr, the feather 
was put into a basket and then turned into a stone. Tliis 
was thrown out and turned into a bamboo. This turned 
into a man, who refused to have anything to do with anyone 
but the woman who had picked up the feather, and the 
Wozakumrr are descended from this pair. The other 
clans used to deride their descendants as the children of 
a bird, and they denied this and resented the imputation 
so much that it led to fighting. In the fight a man of the 
Wozakumrr was killed down by the river and his head taken 
and his body cut up into bits. Then the hombills came in 
numbers and washed the bits of flesh with water from the 
river. The Wozakumrr fled, but seeing what happened, 
saw that it was true that they were of hornbill descent and 
admitted the Justice of the imputation, to which, however, 
they still strongly object. 

These stories of a hornbill ancestor are particularly 
interesting in view of the great veneration with which the 
hornbill is regarded by all Nagas of whatever tribe and 
whatever clan ; its flesh is not eaten by any of the Serna 
tribe, but it is to be noticed that among the Aos to teU 
a man that he belongs to the family of the bird is a piece 
of very serious abuse. The words, “ You are of the Woza- 
kumrr, don’t come near me ” (i.e., because I am of the 
genuine Pongen clan, or of some other clan descended from 
human parents in the orthodox way), is a saying that has 
led to fines of many pigs, whether actually addressed to 



one of the Wozakumrr or to someone quite unconnected 
with them. Again, while most Sernas tabu the flesh of the 
great hombill {Dichoceros bicomis) but do not mind killing it, 
it is genna for all true Sernas so much as to touch the awutsa,^ 
which the Aycmi clan sometimes assert vaguely to be in 
some way related to them,^ though their descent is definitely 
derived from a human progenitor, and they go further than 
the Tsoboi and Wozakumrr in that, as a rule, they refrain 
from killing it. It is, however, the great hombill wliich 
the Sernas, like all other Nagas, regard as the emblem of 
bravery, its tail feathers being the insignia of the successful 
warrior. The selection of the hombill by Nagas is easy to 
understand. It is the largest bird in the country, of magni- 
ficent appearance, and makes a great impression soaring 
slowly overhead with very loudly whirring wings, audible 
at a distance and height at which the bird itself is barely 

Another case which appears to be totemistic at first sight 
is to be found in a claim of the Ziimomi clan of the Sernas 
to be descended from a certain red plantain, from eating 
which some of them abstain. This explanation, however, 
is open to grave suspicion. I have been told at least six 
explanations of the name Ziimomi, all quite different, 
all equally far-fetched, and all from Ziimomi men themselves. 
Besides the plantain story, there is one which ascribes their 
origin to a spring in some red earth in the Serna country, 
another which explains the word as meaning those who 
drink from large plantain leaf cups (because the clan were 
originally few in number and therefore had plenty of liquor — 
which does not follow at all), and there are other similar 
stories. The real meaning of the name, however, is said 
by all the other Serna clans to be “ men of no blood — 
Azhil = blood, mo == no, mi = men. The ancestor of 
the Ziimomi was the bastard son of a girl called Putheli 
and the whole genealogy is known. The various explanations 

1 Aceros Nepaleiisis, 

* Tho explanation of its tabu wliich is usually given, however, is that; 
anyone eating its flesh is liable to choke with a dry, coughing sound, like 
that emitted by the bird. 



of the word given by the Zumomi themselves ai^e, as their 
very variety and discrepancies show, merely attempts to 
evade the slur of bastard origin. Putheli was the daughter 
of Kaghamo, aneestor of the Chesholimi and Chishilimi clans, 
and it is almost certain that she really was the ancestress of 
the Zumomis and an historic character ; the clan is one 
that has sprung to pre-eminence among the Sernas com- 
paratively recently and in a few generations. They were 
originally a small group which left the village of Awohomi 
to found Nunomi, and all the present Zumomi villages arc 
colonies from Nunomi, most of them having been founded 
within the memory of man. It is conceivable that the 
story of the ancestry of the Tsoboi and Wozakumrr may 
have really originated in an accident, such as that which 
happened to Putheli, in which case the hornbill might 
have been chosen to take the responsibility owing to the 
veneration in which it was already Jield. 

There are two other instances of quasi-totemistic ideas 
among the Sernas which are worth mentioning. One 
is the tabu of a species of edible fungus by the Asimi, or some 
of the Asimi clan, on the ground that it grows in large 
quantities at that place where the ancestors of the clan 
emerged from the earth, the soil being particularly rich at 
that place, a story which does not quite lit in with the 
usual account of descent from ^he man Nikhoga, the ancestor 
of all the Sernas. The other is a connection which is believed 
to exist between the Wotsami clan and the huluk ape. The 
flesh of the huluk is tabued to the Wotsami because some 
of the clan turned into huluks after their death. This clan 
is generally looked down on by the other Semas ; it is 
small and poor and scattered. It is sometimes said to 
correspond with the 8hitri clan of the Lhotas, but without 
any apparent reason and in the face of apparent probabilities. 

It might, of course, be argued that the totemistic and 
quasi-totemistic ideas which I have mentioned are survivals 
of what was once a complete totemistic organisation, in 
which case it would be possible to give the names of several 
of the Naga clans a totemistic origin. Thevoma, for instance, 
the name of one of the largest of the Angami clans/ might 



be tranBlated ‘‘ Pigmen/* and Avxymi, the name of a Serna 
clan, the same. The condition, however, of the Naga 
languages makes any such translation wholly unreliable. 
It is, moreover, totally at variance with the tradition 
of the clans themselves and with their own explanations of 
their names, which are in most cases patronymic, though 
these are sometimes explained as nicknames. It is likewise 
always possible that even if the names of clans proved to 
be the names of plants or animals they might have been 
acquired in some such way as, for instance, the village of 
Setikima and Khonoma get their names. Setikima means 

the men of the pipal tree,’’ the name being taken from 
a huge pipal tree on the crest of the cliff selected by the village 
for its site, while the name of Khonoma, properly Kwiinoma, 
is taken from the name of a species of tree felled in large 
numbers when the site was cleared.^ As these villages 
contain men of several clans, a totemistic explanation of 
the name is hardly possible. It is possible, however, that 
some totemistic idea may underlie the nicknames by which 
Naga clans sometimes explain their clan names, and a few 
instances are given from the Serna tribe for what they are 
worth. Similar instances have already been given in the 
notes on the Chang tribe in Appendix III. 

The Sernas have a story to the effect that one Nikhoga was 
the first man. He had six sons, but could only find a wife 
for the eldest, and as the others kept intriguing with the 
eldest son’s wife, he determined that the other five must 
separate and make families for themselves. Accordingly 
he made a feast, cooked rice, and killed a pig, a dog, and a 
goat. The second son (the eldest, Asimi, stayed with his 
father) chose the dog’s head, and so his family are named 
Chunimi, “ Eaters of everything,” like the dog. The 
third chose the pig’s head, and his descendants are called 
Awomi (awo = pig). The fourth called out and made a 

^ Men of such a village migrating to another village might form a clan 
in the new village which would be known as Setiki-nu^ma or kwiino-nu-ma, 
as the case might be. Instances of such nomenclature are to be found in 
Angami villages (t\ App. X), and if the original village were forgotten 
owing to migration an {etiological explanation of the name of the clan 
would naturally arise. 



noise when carrying firewood to cook the feast, whence 
the clan of Ayemi {yeye == chatter). The fifth, who 
was the first to start eating rice, founded the Achumi 
{ana = rice, chu = eat). The sixth stood looking on 
silently and not joining the others, so his descendants are 
called YeputJhomi {aye = clan, putJio = silence, depth, 
though the ordinary meaning of putho is “ night.”) ^ These 
explanations of clan names are clearly not of the sort one 
would care to put much faith in. The names of many of 
the clans are patronymic. Chesho and Chishi, the sons of 
one Kaghamo, founded the Chesliolimi and Chishilimi clans, 
the Kinimi are descended from Kinishe, the Khakulimi 
from Khaku. The names of other clans are explained in 
similar ways, the name of one of them, Wotmmi, being given 
because the founder, when trying to snatch some rice from 
a pig, got bitten by it in the hand {atoo=^^^ pig/’ acm=“arm,” 
trsa means bite ”). It is interesting to compare these 
explanations with some of those given by the Changs, 
to which they are very similar. The Wotsami, who are 
looked down on by the other Serna clans and who are in some 
way associated with the “ huluk ” ape, may be compared 
to the Kudamji clan of Changs, which are also looked down 
on and also regarded as being like “ huluks.” The fact 
that the Aos despise the only one of their clans which claims 
descent from a bird has also been noticed. 

Tabus of flesh among the Sernas and Aos have been 
mentioned. To quote one or two instances, the Awomi 
clan, and its branch the Kinimi, of the Sernas tabu the 
flesh of both dogs and goats. Here it should be noticed 
the Awomi while tabuing dog and goat meat, explain their 
name as meaning “ Pigmen.” Among the Aos the Chongli 
division eat all flesh except in the case of the Pongen clan, 
which abstain, or used to abstain, from dogs, though recently 
they have taken to eating them, owing, as they say, to the 
medicinal qualities of the meat (a connection between the 
Pongen clan of the Aos and the Awomi of the Serna is 
sometimes propounded owing to a common tabu of dog’s 

^ Another version makes the Ayemi and Yeputhomi descend from one 
father named Kaka. 



flesh). The Mongsen Aos all abstain from frogs and from 
pig’s intestines, while the Yimchin and Achonchangrr 
abstain from beef, dog’s flesh, and the remains of tiger or 
leopard kills. These abstentions from certain foods do 
not seem to me in any sense totemistic, but of a nature 
similar to the food tabus observed by Angami women or by 
Angami men who have done the Zatse genna. In all Naga 
tribes the women are subjected to a much stricter series of 
food tabus than the men. The cases of abstention from the 
hornbill, and perhaps from the “ huluk ” monkey in the 
case of the Wotsami, fall, of coiu’se, into a different category, 
but as regards the abstention from various other meats, I 
think myself that the origin is originally due to a fear that 
some bad quality of the thing eaten will enter into the eater, 
or to a belief that such food has proved dangerous to the 
caters in some particular case. In this connection Mr. 
Hodson (‘‘Naga Tribes of Manipur,” p. 199a) writes “that 
there are tabus affecting social units both among the Meitheis 
and the Nagas, is a fact upon which I cannot insist too 
often or too strongly. In so far as Colonel Shakespear has 
found evidence of the origin of these tabus among the 
Meitheis, it is clear that the objects tabued arc believed 
to have been proved dangerous to some individual member 
of the social unit.” One is reminded of the reason given 
by some Sernas for reaping by hand only, because one 
man once slashed his stomach and killed himself when 
reaping with a dao. 

Not is it by any means impossible that the tabus affecting 
the hornbill and the “ huluk ” among the Sernas, and the 
python among the Changs, have not had a very similar 
origin. How easily such a notion may spring up can bo 
gathered from a single instance which came under my 
notice of a tabu on an Angami. I was going up from Zubza 
to Kohima with Srisalhu, of Khonoma, when we met a large 
snake in the road. I started to beat it, but Srisalhu would 
not join in. When I had killed it he said that it was kenna 
for him to kill snakes. The reason was that his home in 
Khonoma, or rather his father’s home, had been inhabited 
by a snake. When Srisalhu removed to a new site the 



snake appeared in the new house. ^ It still lives in Srisalhu’s 
house and is frequently seen, having survived two rebuildings. 
This fact impressed Srisalhu, who talked it over with the other 
men of his kindred, who considered that a man who had 
a snake like that in his home ought not to kill snakes at all. 
Accordingly it is now regarded as kenna for Srisalhu and his 
household to kill snakes. If Srisalhu's descendants are 
prolific this kenna will doubtless in time affect a whole 

In conclusion, I cannot do better than quote Mr. Hodson 
again : “ What these facts seem to prove is the existence in 
this area not so much of totemism, as of a mental attitude, 
a Weltanschauung, which in other parts of the world have 
permitted totemism to flourish and prosper.” It is difficult 
to believe that a people still so primitive, and still so retentive 
of their legends and of their exogamous system as the Naga 
tribes, should have ever practised totemism and forgotten it/. 

^ It might easily be transferred from one building to anolber in a 
“ (Ihiili of paddy or in part of the thatch. 



As will be seen from the foregoing pages, there is very 
little trace or indication among the Nagas of anything but 
a patriarchal constitution of society. There are, however, 
one or two points which should be noticed, in that it is 
possible that they may be taken to be survivals of a different 
organisation of the family. 

The supreme deity of the Angamis, Ukepenopfii, has a 
female termination, and though sometimes regarded as 
having male attributes, she appears in at least one legend 
as a woman. This might perhaps suggest that the matriar- 
chate at one time existed among the Naga tribes, as it is 
undoubtedly remarkable that a people with such patriarchal 
instincts should have a female as their supreme deity. 
On the other hand, it may be pure chance, as there are 
other Angami deities with the same female termination, 
Telepfu for instance, as well as ropfu,’’ while the Serna 
supreme deity, Timilhou (=“ creator of man’'), seems 
to have purely male attributes. It is, however, interesting 
tiO notice that a Naga in extremis almost always calls “mother, 
mother ! ” though she may have been dead for fifty years. 

I have pointed out that descent and relationship on the 
female side are hardly recognised at all by the Angamis, 
nor are they, so far as I know, by any other Naga tribe. 
I have foimd, however, one instance to the contrary 
among the Angamis, an instance which is particularly 
noticeable in view of prevailing customs and beliefs. In 
Kohima Village the Cherama and Bosuma clans do not 
intermarry, the reason given being that the founder of 
Cherama manied the sister of Rosu, the founder of the 



Bosuma clan. This reason is striking, as in all other cases 
of similar prohibitions of marriage between two clans or 
kindreds the reason given is that the clans are descended 
from two brothers. There is a certain mild prejudice 
among Angamis against marrying first cousins on the 
mother’s side, though it is permitted by the rules of exogamy, 
and is nowhere regarded as^ kenna. As to this prejudice 
extending beyond one generation — ^it is a thing wMch I 
do not think any Angami would dream of propounding except 
in the instance given above, or in some similar case if such 
exists. Possibly the theory which ascribes the prohibition 
to a marriage between the founder of Cherama and Bosu’s 
sister has been invented to explain a prohibition the reason 
of which has been forgotten. The explanation that the 
founder of the Cherama clan of Kohima and Rosu were 
brothers was barred by all the village traditions, which 
draw an explicit distinction between the Cherama and 
the six Pferonuma clans. Perhaps a prohibition which 
applied to one generation only has been accidentally 
perpetuated, or it is a survival of a matrilineal system. 
However that may be, the prohibition remains and the 
reason given by the Angamis is relationship on the female 

As for the position of women in the family, the head- 
taking genna as observed in Kohima which has already been 
described suggests a position of some authority for aunts 
on the paternal side. Women, however, are generally some- 
what prominent in head-taking, sisters owing a lock of hair 
to their victorious brother and unmarried girls refusing 
husbands who had not taken a head. 

S. E. Peal’s ingenious theory of exogamy and premarital 
licence has been mentioned in Part III. In view of that 
and other theories of exogamy a Serna legend of the origin of 
exogamous clans is interesting. Niklioga, the fiirst man, had 
six sons, but was only able to find a wife for the eldest. 
Consequently the other five were always intriguing with 
their brother’s wife until Nikhoga drove them forth to 
found separate families and ultimately exogamous clans. 
This story might perhaps support Peal’s theory, or it xnight 



suggest some period of polyandry in the past. It has been 
suggested that the promiscuous relations between the sexes 
before marriage are the result of ignorance as to the cause 
and method of procreation. This theory has to be reconciled 
with the practice of abortion and infanticide by unmarried 
girls. Where the cause of pregnancy was not loiown, it is 
difficult to see how shame can have attached to it in the 
case of the unmarried as distinct from the married, and 
unless the institution of marriage was subsequent to the 
acquisition of knowledge on this point, one would have 
expected pregnancy in unmarried girls to have been an 
accepted state of things. At present, when an unmarried 
girl does become pregnant it is usual for the man responsible 
to marry the girl. Chang girls seem to make a practice 
of admitting their loveis only on the promise to marry them 
later on. Moreover, as has been noticed, in most Naga 
tribes at any rate, probably in all, any sexual relations be- 
tween two persons of the same exogamous group are regarded 
as criminal. 

Possibly the resemblance between the Angami word for 
“ husband ” {'nupfu) and the Serna word for “ wife 
(anipfu) is worth notice. The Angami word appears to 
have a feminine termination. The Serna word for husband 
is akimi (“ house man which seems the same word as 
the Angami ’kima = “ wife.” In Kezami the word for both 

husband ” arid “ wife ” is akami. 



The rain-making gennas of the Angamis have been 
noticed, but there is rather a marked difference in the rain- 
maldng practices of some of the other tribes, which are 
worth alluding to. 

The Sernas take the head of a “ huluk ape and put it in 
the water at a salt-lick. They also drive a stake into the 
ground in the same place, saying as they do so, “ Tsiina tmna 
li,’’’ ‘‘ Ttsilna isilna li ” (Rain, rain, fall ! ) and when they have 
finished and are going away they sing “ Tsuga thoile, 
yegathubo,'' which is the song sung by children playing in 
the rain. When enough rain has fallen and they want it to 
stop they remove the head and pull out the stake, otherwise 
the rain would fall continuously. 

The Lhotas also place a huluk’s head in water, any stream 
or pool will do, and take it out when they wish the rain to 

Captain Porter, of the 17th Infantry, told me that when 
the Lhotas wanted rain they caught a land crab and tied 
him by the leg in a nullah, putting an egg beside him. 
The crab’s business was to call the rain spirit, and the egg 
was put there for the crab to give to the spirit. If this 
resulted in rain the crab was let go again, but if no rain came 
the unfortunate crab was hung on to a tree and left to die, 
as being an incapable and useless intermediary. This is not 
practised by the northern villages. 

The Lhotas also turn out in numbers and beat the earth 
with sticks when they want rain, calling to it to come and 
soak the earth well, and when going away singing (like the 

D D 



Sernas) “O, dapotaisi, dapoisisi^''^ which is again the song sung 
by children when dancing in the wet, and is almost untrans- 
latable ; it represents the fall of the rain wetting theii* heads 
and trickling down their bodies, and might be rendered 
‘‘ Bain, rain, soak me.” 

The Changs have an ingenious method of making the 
Earth ask the Sky for rain. A stake is buried horizontally 
in the ground and earth broken up fine and heaped in over it. 
Over all a bamboo mat is put to keep it down. A cane 
thong is passed through the mat and under the stake and 
up through the mat again. This thong is sawn backward 
and forwards, just as the thong used on the fire-stick is 
sawn, and makes a dull, groaning sound. When the Earth 
calls thus the Sky hears it and sends rain in three days at 
the outside. 

N.B. — The use of the ‘‘ huluk ’* ape by the Semas and Lhotas is probably 
due to the Nagas, belief (which I fancy is more or less correct) that the 
“ huluk ” never comes down to the ground to drink, but collects rain- 
water, etc., from the leaves of trees. Possibly the idea is that the sky, 
seeing the “ huluk ’* reduced to drinking from pools on the ground, and 
(in the case of the Semas) brackish water at that, will send rain. I have 
not, however, been able to extract any explanation from the Semas or 
Lhotas themselves, except that “ it is the custom fco do thus when rain 
is needed.” 

^ The Ndreng lhotas sing **Etsu&u8u, ets^u&uaii ” referring to the coldnes^' 
or coolness of the rain. The words are “ baby -talk ” and not properly 
formed \vord8 



The Angami belief that stone colts are thunderbolts 
has already been mentioned. This belief is also held by 
Lhotas, Sernas, Ohangs, Aos, and other Naga tribes, and 
by many of their neighbours. The Angami belief is that 
the stone celt was first given to men by Ukepenopfii as an 
instrument, but that the men, not knowing its proper use, 
chipped and spoilt it, whereon it returned to heaven of itself. 
Now it falls in lightning, but the place where it falls cannot 
be found unless a man mark the exact hour and moment 
of the flash and the place where the stone strikes the earth. 
He should then cover up the spot with a basket or some 
similar thing and look under it on the expiration of seven 
years precisely to the moment of the flash, when he will 
find that the stone has come up out of the earth and is lying 
under the basket. Some say the time is seven months, 
not years. In any case, the exact hour must be struck or 
nothing will be found. The possession of a celt is regarded 
by the Angamis as a sure means to prosperity and health. 
It brings increase of cattle and fruitful crops. The more 
perfect the celt is the more it is prized, though the Lhotas 
are said to prefer them imperfect.^ 

The Sernas, Lhotas, and other tribes say that the valuable 
part of the celt returns to heaven in the flash, leaving 
only a stone worthless as an instrument. The Aos do not 
seem to prize celts at all. The Lhotas regard them with 
some awe, and oaths are taken on them. The Serna regards 
the possession of a celt as bringing fruitfulness to the owner’s 
Naga beans and other subsidiary crops of minor importance. 

^ As far as my personal experience of Lhotas goes the Lhota objects to 
picking up a celt or even touclilng it at all. 


D I) 2 



These celts are called by the Angamis methie,^ by the 
Sernas Pogopu- or Th^opu-rnoghii (= toad’s axe), by the 
Lhotas Potso-phu (gods’ axe), by the Aos Kntakr-pn or 
Kutakr-m (= gods’ axe), by the Changs M'liglhka v)o 
(=: spirits’ hoe). 

I have never seen shoulder-headed celts or closely corres- 
ponding iron implements as described by Mr. Peal in 1896 
(“ The Kol-Mon-Anam in the Eastern Naga Hills ” — 
Journal of the Asiatic Society, August, 1896), although the 
Yachumi use a shoulder-headed hoe not at all unlike that 
used by the Khasis (see Colonel Gordon’s “The Khasis,” 
p. 12). Of the celts, however, which I have seen, the largest 
is decidedly like the iron hoe still used by the Aos. More- 
over, it was found quite recently in the Chebi river, which 
runs below Pangti, which used to be occupied by Aos till 
driven out by Lhotas. It is slightly worn at the shoulders. 
It might be compared also to the narrow iron hoe of the 
Lhotas or to the Angami hoe, which is on a much larger 
scale, but while the latter tribes lash their hoes to a crooked 
stick, the Aos more often insert the end of theirs into a hole 
in a straight stick. 

The celts which I have seen in the Naga Hills are of two 
types, of which one is predominant, the other being very 
uncommon. The dominant type is roughly triangular, 
with its widest part at the edge. The polished blade, 
like that of a Naga dao, is flat on one face and curved down 
to the edge on the other face. The smallest I have seen 
was about three-quarters of an inch in its widest part,^ 

^ 1 have not been able to find out the meaning of methie, but perhaps 
it may be compared with the Yachumi word thou, meaning a shoulder - 
headed hoe. The Angamis also speak of celts as terhoma guli spirits' 
bullets) and regard them as being shot from some terhoma miai (spirits' 
gun). I cannot help wondering if whether the Serna name for celts is not 
a corruption of or euphemism for teghami-moghii, which would mean ** spirits' 
axe.’* Indeed Vikhepu, one of the most intelligent Sernas I ever knew, 
agreed with me that it was likely, but 1 have since found that the Serna 
associates the toad with the spirit Litsapa, who controls the rainfall, and 
this would perhaps be enough to associate the toad with the ** thunderbolt.” 

^ Though no iron hoes as small as this are now in use, a minute iron hoe, 
less than an inch broad in the widest part, was found by me on the site of 
a long extinct Sangtam village near the present village of Mokokchung 
in the Ao country. 



while the largest,^ which I have mentioned as found in the 
Chebi river, measures 2| inches across the blade. The 
other type is much longer in proportion to its breadth 
and perhaps resembles a Naga adze more than a hoc, though 
not unlike the narrow Lhota and Serna hoes. I have only 
seen one of this type about 3| inches long and I j inches 
in the widest part. These three celts and others from 
the Naga Hills arc at present in the Pitt-Rivers 
Museum at Oxford. It is perhaps possible that the trian- 
gular celts were fitted into a hole in a wooden handle, while 
the wedge-shaped celts were bound to crooked sticks ; 
that is, if the two varieties of celts do not represent different 
races at one time occupying these hills. 

The belief that celts are thunderbolts is said to be common 
among people who have recently emerged from the stone age, 
and (I quote Mr. Peal here) “ it is well known that the 
earlier forms of iron implements and weapons are based on 
that of their stone prototypes."' It might be added that 
they are also sometimes based on their wooden prototypes, 
for the cross-handled, iron-bladed, horseshoe-shaped hoe, 
used by some of the Lhotas and many of the Aos andKonyaks, 
is obviously based on the hoe which the Sernas call akwwoh 
or achakha and still use regularly, and which is made of 
a piece of pliant wood or bamboo bent into the form of a 
horseshoe with the ends prolonged to cross one another.* 

^ 1 Jiave since seen one considerably larger. Both are in the Pitt 
Rivers Museum at Oxford with other celts collected in the Naga Hills. 

^ There is a method of slaughtering animals which is used in ceremonies 
by some Naga tribes, which may possibly be in part a survival from times 
when iron weapons were unlcnown. The animal is tied up and a cut made 
in the skin with a dao behind the animal's shoulder, and a pointed wooden 
stick inserted and driven home by liand. In the case of mithan killed in 
this manner by Sernas the animal is also formally struck two or three 
times with a stick. It is easy to realise that it would take a long time to 
kill a mithan by beating it to death or with a stone axe, though the latter 
might be capable of making a cut for the insertion of a pointed stick. 
The Angami method of killing fowls with a stick at the ceremony of dragging 
the village door and with a bamboo at the Terho«rogi genns has been also 
noted in Part IV, as also the killing of pigs with sticks, though the latter 
is as much the usual method among thi Angamis as the use of a pointed 
stick is with the Aos, both tribes using these methods respectively on 
ordinary occasions as well as ceremonially. These methods ensure that 
no blood is lost and that may be the reason why they are employed. Aos 



Among the Angamis, as among aU other Naga tribes, 
stones in general are particularly liable to become objects 
of superstitious awe. Many Angami clans, though not all 
perhaps, keep a genna stone called Kepmhi, usually near 
one of the village gates. This stone is prominent in head- 
taking gennas and should any earth faU on to it by any 
means, genna must be observed ; otherwise it does not seem 
to have any special significance, but may perhaps have 
originally been regarded as the abode of the deity of the 
village or locality. In Lhota morungs, too, round stones, 
not very large, are often to be seen, and are kept in the 
morimg and seem to be regarded as the habitation of a 
spirit, but the ideas are very vague on this point. Oaths 
used to be taken on them. 

Angami monoliths of two kinds have already been men- 
tioned, the stones dragged and set up on the completion of 
the Ketseshe genna, and stones set up in memory of parents 
by the son who inherits the house. This latter custom only 
exists in some villages, whereas the pulling of stones, after 
the acquisition of high social standing by genna, is practised, 
not only by all Angamis, but by the Lhotas and Rengmas 
also, and possibly used to be practised by Sernas. It is 
conceivable that the memorial stones were erected as a 
dwelling for the spirit of the dead, but I do not think that 
monoliths are usually regarded as the abode of spirits, A 
case came to my notice of a stone being dragged for a 
monolith which was regarded as possessed and was abandoned. 
In January, 1913, Zavire of Phulama went out with almost 
all Phulama village to pull in a stone. This stone was veiy 
big and could not be moved by the men who had gone to 
pull it. When the news reached the village a man named 
Pusann went out and helped to pull the stone, although 
he had a quarrel with Zavire. The instant Pusann started 
to pull, the stone moved as though it had lost its weight, 
but Pusann fell under the sledge and was nearly killed. 
His thigh was broken ; and the stone was abandoned. It 
was held to be Icmna to bring in that or any other stone 

when killing a mithan ceremonially spear it after tapping it on the fore- 
head with a pointed stone. The Lhotas used, I believe, to kill mithan for 
ceremonial purposes by beating them to death long after it was usual to 
spear them for purposes other than ceremonial. 



on that day. About five days later a small stone was 
pulled in. 

Stones of noticeable appearance or peculiar shape or 
large size readily become the objects of awe. At Phesama 
there is a stone named “ Nyielo,’’ which may be seen w^hite 
and shining in the bed of the stream. The raising of this 
stone is believed to be followed by fierce storms of wind 
and hail such as are related to have occiuxed on the occasion 
when the stone was first noticed. Phesama were fishing 
in the stream and rolled the stone to the bank. A storm 
got up immediately, so they rolled it back, when the wind 
and storm were miraculously stilled. Another case in 
which a stone was held responsible for storms came to my 
notice in Jotsoma. The late continuance of the March 
winds, in 1913, which were seriously interfering with terraced 
cultivation, was put down to the taking back to the village 
of a curiously-shaped stone by one of the Jotsoma clans. 
It was asserted that the winds would not stop until this 
stone was put back in the place from which it had been taken, 
and I was asked by the Tekronoma clan to compel the 
Tsyama clan to put it back. 

Special stones are regarded as the abode of spirits aU over 
the Naga Hills. The Kezakenoma stone and the dream 
stone of Viyakiricha at Khonoma have been mentioned. 
So has the Lhota stone ‘‘ Diulung ” at Lakuti. At Nankam, 
in the Ao coimtry, there is a pair of stones male and female, 
to which offerings are made, and at Longkai, a Konyak 
village, there is another. But these are only one or two 
among hundreds. At Lumami, in the Serna country, for 
instance, there is a stone at the side of the Government 
path to which everyone who goes by offers a present of a 
pebble or a bit of stone picked up from the path, making a 
pile of small stones which periodically slips down, to be 
picked up by other passers-by and presented again. There 
are one or two particularly interesting stones in the Serna 
country- At Natsimi (Cherema) there is a stone which has, 
at the time of writing, a new and widely increasing cult, 
particularly amongst the neighbouring Rengma villages. 
When I saw it, it was about 18 inches long, of an oily appear- 
ance and black in colour, quite unlike any local rock which 



I have seen. It was roughly wedge-shaped, about 4 inches 
broad at the base and 4 or 5 inches in height. It proved to 
retain a surreptitious finger-print, but to leave no oil or 
grease on the finger. In 1912, when I saw it, it was said 
to have been in existence for six years and to have grown 
during that time from a hand’s length to three times as 
long. It is said to change colour and to be quite white at 
times. It was found in a jhum field and transferred to a 
sheltered comer at the side of a cliff, where only one or two 
can come near it at a time. On genna days the neighboring 
villages come and offer it pice. Many pice are always to 
be seen round about it, but I suspect the lion's share goes 
eventually to the “ interpreter ” of the stone, who holds 
converse with it in his dreams and asks it questions about 
the future. Omens as to trading ventures are taken on the 
stone itself by seeing whether a pice placed on the stone 
slips off or stays on, this depending partly, at any rate, on 
whether the “ interpreter ” places the pice near the apex 
of the wedge or towards the base where the slope is steeper. 
The stone takes human form at night, and it is in this form 
that he first appeared to his votary and told him to remove 
the stone from the field, and it is in this form that the latter 
meets him in his dreams. The approaches to the stone are 
marked with the remnants of numberlesss offerings of 
eggs, fowls, and pigs, and fowls released at the spot are 
reputed to stay there of their own accord. I am myself 
inclined to regard the “ interpreter ” of the stone, who 
was also its discoverer, as an unrecognised genius. 

Black stones said to be similar in composition to that at 
Natsimi, but smaller and usually rounded, are kept by all 
tribes as charms, particularly for crops. They are said to 
sweat ” freely ^ and to breed, getting offspring like them- 
selves, but smaller. They are called thego by Angamis, 
who keep them in the dhan dulis in their houses. It is 
genna to show them at all among Angamis. The Sernas 
abstain from vegetables after touching them. Most tribes 
keep them in a pot or some such place covered with paddy, 
as they store their grain outside the village. Similar 
charm-stones are kept for success in warfare and in hunting. 

^ If the thumb is rubbed across one of these stones it leaves a wet mark. 



The former are said to have white spiral lines on them and 
the latter to resemble a deer’s foot and are cloven. The 
crop charms are feasted with bits of meat once a year. 
The others when their aid is required. The only charm- 
stone I have seen^ had scratches on it said to be a test of its 
genuineness and the result of its fighting with mice in the 
owner’s house. T was told that if I broke it I should find 
it white inside. 

In Lazemi there is a paii* of stones, male and female, 
\\'hich cohabit and breed, and whose safe-keeping and 
propitiation are looked on as very necessary to the prosperity 
of the village. No one knows where they are, except the 
priest and two of the old men of the village who unearth 


A. Sketch to show shape of triangular celt. i. surface, li. side view. 

B. ,, ,, wedgo -shaped celt. 

The dotted part represents the surface left unpolished. 

C. Outline of large celt found in the Chebi River. 

them every now and then — ^about once in three years. 
The stones are said to come to the surface of their own 
accord at the proper date ; after they have been feasted 
with due ceremony they are again buried in private by 
the priest and his companions. I have met the idea that 
stone can produce offspring in other places in the hills, 
and boulders or stones rounded by the action of water, etc., 
seem sometimes to be regarded as in a different category 
altogether from rocks and broken bits of rock, or the rough 
stones of which the soil is full. Mr. Hodson in his “ Naga 
Tribes of Manipm’,” gives a number of Naga beliefs as to 
particular stones. 

* I have seen a number of others since. 



Points of the Compass , — ^The Angamis naturally take the 
rising and the setting of the sun to distinguish east and 
west, though the latter is also called the side behind the 
house ” because an easterly aspect is preferred for the 
front of the house, as it gets the early morning sun. For 
the north and south “ Doumwards ’’ and “ Upwards ” 
are used, as the plains of Assam lie roughly to the north 

of the hills, while the high 
Barail range is at the back of 
the Angami country to the 
south. There is, however, a 
tendency among Angamis 
Nathutsa who have been to school to 
use Upwards ” for the 
north and “ Downwards ’’ 
for the south, because maps 
are printed with the north at 
Points or the ^mpass. l^be top and the missionaries 

at Kohima have inverted 
the Angami terms to suit their convenience in teaching. 
The south is given by McCabe as Chakritsa (i.c., “ Chakrima 
side ”) but this can only apply to certain villages. 

The Sun and Moon , — ^The moon and sun are regarded 
by the Angamis as male and female,^ man and wife, respec- 
tively. The sun, being a woman, is afraid to go out at 

^ The Khasis also make the moon male and the sun female, and escplain 
the spots on the moon as the result of ashes flung at his face. (Col. Gurdon , 
“ The Khasis,’* Second Edition, p. 172). A similar story is reported from 
Mexico, though it is a hare that is flung at the moon instead of ashes or 




night and therefore moves out during the daytime, her 
husband coming out at night. (The Sernas and Lhotas 
believe that the functions of the sun and moon were originally 
the opposite of what they are now, so that the sun shone 
at night and the moon by day. The latter, however, was 
so hot that the earth and everything on it was scorched 
and every form of life made almost impossible. At last 
a man took some cow-dung and threw it at the moon’s face, 
ordering it to shine at night only, in the cool, and the sun 
to shine by day. This change took place and the cow-dung 
is still to be seen on the moon’s face). See also Part V, 
svpra, “ Legends.’' 

Eclipses arc explained as follows. The earth is very big 
and the sun was therefore unable to heat the w^hole of it. 
So he had to borrow^ heat, and from time to time repays the 
loan. When he is wholly or partially eclipsed he is at that 
time making a repayment of his borrowed heat. Eclipses 
of the moon are explained in a similar way. Some Naga 
tribes explain eclipses as the eating of the sun or moon by 
a tiger or a spirit, but in the case of the Lhotas at any rate 
the idea seems borrowed from the Assamese, the Lhota 
expression merely being that the orb “ dies.” 

Calendar . — ^The Angami year is divided into twelve 
months as follows : — 

Thennye, roughly corresponding to October. 









J " 




9 9 































Normally the months consist of thirty da3rs each, and 
an intercalary month is inserted vaguely every three or four 



years, the year of insei*tion being spoken of as kril kerr*o-se 
tUaiy “ the thirteen month year,” though the extra month 
has no name of its own.^ 

The Stars, themil, are often regarded by the Angamis as 
men who have been translated to the heavens after death. 
No distinction is drawn between stars and planets except 
in the matter of size. Names are given to some of the more 
conspicuous stars and constellations. 

The Milky Way is called PfiudzVjcM (Pfiti's water channel), 
which is the name of the Barak river dividing the Kacha 
Naga country. Why the name of the constellation should 
have been given to the river, or whether the name of the 
river was given to the constellation, is not known. When 
Pfiiidzucha is visible fine weather is expected. It is most 
visible at the beginning of the cold weather, when it lies from 
north to south like the Barak river. 

The Morning Star is called Tizhepfu, and was a girl of 
that name who during life was a great coquette and made 
all the lads in the village think she was in love with them. 
When they found out how they had been deceived, they 
swore that they would never look upon her face again ; 
but she said that she would turn into a big star when she died 
so that every one would look at her. Women who are fickle 
or loose are stil) compared to Tizhepfu. {? Tizhepfiic;^ 
tise-pfil, '' morning bringer.”) 

The Evening Star, appearing in the south-west just 
after sunset, is known as Keriigu-Vaphi,'' the '‘Thief 

The three stars of the Belt of Orion are known as Thepeko, 
or Bhupeko (? == the Carriers). They were three men who 
w'ere carrying a post for a house and were attacked by their 
enemies and killed. The smaller stars dependent from 
the belt and forming Orion’s sword are the enemies who 
ambushed and killed the three post-caniers. (The Lhotas 
say that the three stars of the belt are three men looking for 
a mithan). 

The Hyades are known as Themii-tikru, “ the Rain-shield 
stars,” and were a woman’s rain-shield. She suddenly missed 

* The Changs have an intercalary month of which it is tabu to mention. 



it from her shoulders and looked round to find it had been 
snatched away from her and set in the sky as a constellation. 

ZuthekroJcOy the Rat diggers,” are pointed out as the 
Pleiades, They were seven men who were digging out 
rats in the jungle when they were suddenly set upon and 
killed by their enemies. Hence, perhaps, the unluckiness 
of the number seven among the Amgamis. (The Sernas 
describe them as a number of young girls who were killed 
when maldng modhu and spinning cotton in a rich man’s 
house). ^ (The Zuthekrolco were once pointed out to me as 
the seven stars of the Plough, but the latter are really 
known as the Themii-pisu.) 

Themil-riiil, “ the Star-Girls,” probably ^ the Omini. 
J have been unable to identify them with absolute certainty, 
as different stars are pointed out by different persons. 
They are two stars close together which were two girls 
who were Idlled by raiders when spinning in front of the 
house, or, according to another version, two girls who 
were killed, when catching snails and fish in the rice terraces, 
by a tiger, which is the big red star ” seen “ just behind 

Comets are known as Zvdio^Khttpu, “ Zudio’s pipe.” 
A man named Zudio, who was dying, said that seven days 
after his death he would smoke his pipe, and everyone 
should see the smoke of it in the skj^ and, further, that 
after seven generations had passed he would show himself 
again. A comet appeared after his death and is seen at 
rare and long intervals and is known as Zudio’s Pipe or 
Zudio’s smoke, Zudio-Mikhu, (The Sernas believe that 
great warriors become comets after their death.) 

* The Angami, as in some other Assamese tribes, sees seven. The 
Serna sees six and (like the Greeks) says that there used to be seven. 



A RECENT article by Mr. Perry in the Journal of the 
Royal Anthropological Institute (vol. xliv, p. 281 ), Orienta- 
tion of the Dead in Indonesia,” has shown, or has set out 
to show, that in the East Indian Archipelago and the 
Burma- Assam region, orientation of the dead generally 
depends on the position of the land from which migration 
has taken place, or is believed to have taken place, and 
on the location of the Abode of the Dead. Further that 
the direction of these two places are usually the same. 
House orientation, it is argued, depends on the same beliefs. 

Among the Naga tribes, however, it does not seem possible 
to explain the orientation of houses or of the dead on either 
of the grounds given above, nor does the direction of the 
Abode of the Dead in any way agree with the direction 
from which the various tribes believe themselves to have 
come. To take the actual beliefs of some of the tribes 
separately : 

Avgami , — ^No particular orientation of dead ^ except in 
so far as bodies buried at the same time and place are given 
the same orientation. Houses are theoi*etically oriented 
so as to have the front towards the east, but theory only 
partially carried out in practice. All Angamis agree in 
pointing to the south as their place of origin. They place 
the abode of the good dead in the sky and that of the bad 
below the earth. They give as the reason for a desire to 
have their houses facing east that (a) the east is a ‘‘ good ” 
direction and (b) they like to get the morning sun in their 
porches for comfort’s sake. 

^ As A rule. Some villages give an eastern orientation, while pointing to 
a southern origin. 



Serna , — ^All Sernas point to the mountain of Tukahu 
(Japvo) in the south as the place from which they came. 
They locate the abode of the dead either in the Wokha hill 
to the east of the Serna country, or in the hill called Naruto 
in what is now not far from the centre of the Serna country, 
though at one time it was in the north. They also have a 
belief that the virtuous dead go to a village of the dead 
located towards the rising o^ the sun, while the bad go to 
a similar village towards the setting sun. There is no 
positive orientation of the dead, but a negative orientation 
providing that the dead person, who is buried in front of 
his house, must not look towards the house in which he lived. 
There is no orientation of houses at all. 

LJhOta, — ^The dead are buried so that they would face 
cast on arising. The Lhotas point to the south as their home 
of origin, and to the Wokha hill as the abode of the dead. 
This hill lies so that a good many Lhota villages could regard 
it roughly as to the east of them, but it falls west, north, 
or south of others. 

Rengma, — ^The naked Rengmas practise burial, but 
make miniature “ machans ’’ over the grave, like Tangkhuls, 
suggesting that they foimerly exposed their dead like Aos. 
The Rengmas proper bury. 

Ao . — The dead are exposed on “ machans ” in rows “ in 
the place where the dead were first exposed when the 
village was made.” No special side of the village is chosen, 
and Ao leprii (cemeteries) may be seen to the north, south, 
west, or east of the village. There is no orientation of the 
corpse, or of the house, but the corpses on the “ machans ” 
lie parallel to one another with their heads in the same 

CJbang. — ^The orientation of the corpses is again negative. 
The body when buried inside the house (exposure on 
“ machans ” is believed to be an innovation), faces towards 
the doorway of the house unless the lumse faces west, in 
which case the body is buried facing east. It is tabu 
for the dead to face west, as the west is regarded as bad 
and the east as good. Houses are usually built in two lines 
from north to south, facing inwards, so that one line of 

4i6 appendix IX 

houses faces east and the other west, but this depends 
probably on the lie of the ground, the ridges on which the 
Chang villages are built mostly running from north to south. 
Villages not on a ridge do not adhere to the single street plan. 

These instances certainly go to support, rather than to 
confute, Professor Tylor’s theory of orientation as given in 
his Primitive Culture” (4th edition, 1903, vol. ii, pp. 48,421, 
as quoted in the article mentioned above). In any case, 
the orientation of the dead cannot be explained on the 
theory of migration unless we refer it to some migration 
from the east before the migration from the south to north 
took place. 

In a paper on “ The Home of the Dead in Indonesia ” 
(Folk-Lore, vol. xxvi. No. 2, June 20th, 1915), 

Mr. Perry argues that the mode of burial is in direct relation 
to the origin of the race ; thus tribes who derive their 
origin from stones bury their dead in stone graves, tribes 
professing an origin from trees or bamboos dispose their 
dead on trees, while interment corresponds to an origin 
from the ground and to a belief in an underground land of 
the dead. In support of this theory he cites some instances 
from the Naga tribes, quoting Hodson's “Naga Tribes of 
Manipur ” (p. 14). In the case of the Angamis, it is possible 
that such a connection holds good, though the fact that 
the Angamis bury in a wood coffin in stone graves while 
tracing their source to a hole in the earth (albeit near a 
large stone) rather vitiates the close association of origin 
from a stone and a top dressing of stone to graves made 
by Mr. Perry. The Lhotas, with the same account of origin, 
bury in wood coffins or in bamboo mats and do not use 
stones. The Sernas, deriving their origin from Japvo 
mountain and placing the homes of the dead on mountains, 
bury in the earth in wood coffins in front of their houses. 

The Aos, tracing their origin from a hole in the earth, 
dispose of their dead on bamboo platforms. The Changs 
practise both burial and platform disposal indiscriminately 
while tracing their origin to the earth. The Yachumi 
appear to bury ordinarily under the bed of the deceased 
inside the house, though the skull is later removed and put 



in a hole in the rock, while placing the bodies of those who 
meet with apotia ” deaths on trees. The Phom, tracing 
their origin, at any rate in the case of part of the tribe, to 
a hole in the earth or cave, dispose of their dead on trees, 
afterwards placing the skull in a niche in the clijBF. 

It may be noticed that some of the Konyak tribes who 
dispose, of their dead on platforms place the body in a cofJBn 
made in the same way as a 4ug-out canoe, while the Lhotas 
also use dug-out cofl&ns for their rich men. This is mentioned 
as it has been suggested by some that the Nagas were at 
one time in touch with the sea. Inside the Naga Hills 
District the Lhotas alone use dug-out boats, other tribes 
using bamboo rafts if they make boats at all. 

It may also be remarked that the Sernas, tracing their 
source from one hiU (Japvo), locate the village of the dead 
on another (Wokha, or Naruto). The Aos likewise, coming 
from Chongliemdi, put the village of the dead on another 
hill further north. These hills of the dead are all hills 
which rise as in a series of steps clearly marked against the 
sky. Compare the Angamis’ story of the ladder built up 
to the realms of Ukepenopfii. Also with regard to the 
orientation of Chang houses, the Aos have an oath in which 
®gg is dropped into a hole and the swearer loses if it point 
west, wins if it point east. (This oath is used at Sangraohu). 


Shown under the villages in which they are found. 

Names of clans in Tengima Angami villages. 

N.B. — S. after the name of a clan denotes that it belongs to the Satsiima 
Kelhu. The other Pezoma clans are all of the Thevoma Kelhu, The 
Pepfiima clans are cdl of one Kelhu, the Thekronoma (or Cherama). 

A. — Khonoma Group. 


Pezoma, Pepjuma, 

Kavema Makuma 

Eapoma (half) Kipoma (half) 



Thevoma Merhema 



Toloma Thekronoma 











Pezoma. Pepfiima. 




Nayatsuma S. Vima-rhekruno 

Bhatsatsuma S. 


Hozhama Thekronoma 

B. — Kohima Oroup. 


Pezoma, Pepfiima, 








N.B. — ^Most of the Kohima clans contain Pezoma families who came 
from other villages. 


Eiditsuma Horotsuma 





Eroma Eewhinuma 

N.B. — ^The Kewhinuma ( == ** From-Kohima men *) are composed of 
colonists of the Horotsuma, Chetonoma, Hrepvoma and Cherama clans 
of Kohime^ and use the names of these clans. 


Thevoma Makwuma 


E E 2 














Thevoma Thapviinoma 

Kilozuma (half) Sakuma 

Kilozuma (half). 


Chadi-zaproma Solhima 

Kratsetsuma (? or Dsuma) 


N.B. — ^The Chadi-zaproma contains some Pezoma who came from other 
villages and attached themselves to that clan. 


Riipiechuma Biema 




N.B. — ^The Bapiechuma, Sugotsuma, and Methama clans all contain 
Pepfama families who came from other villages, while conversely the 
Riema oontcdns several Pezoma families of similar origin. The Tephri- 
Methama (t.e., ** Foreign-methama ”)are the descendants of a man said to 
have been a “ Man,” t.e., Burmese who came from the plains to Chichama 
and was adopted into the Methama clan. His descendants now number 
some twenty houses, and are reckoned as Pezoma. This Burman had 
three companions who were adopted into the Kupiechuma, Sugotsuma, 
andKiema clans respectively, but two of them were killed by their adoptive 
clansmen and one died of diarrhoea. Tephri means “ Foreign ’* as opposed 
to “ Nagc^** not merely as opposed to “ Angami.” The four Burmese 
who came to Chiohama probably wandered up from the plains of Asscun 
at the time of the Burmese invasion. 




Pezoma. PepjUma. 





N.B. — ^tlie Serna clan is really Serna and not Angami, but, of course, the 
blood is now mixed. 

C. — Viswema (Dzuno-Kehena) Chtmp. 


Pezoma. Pepfilma. 








Thama (? S.) 

Mekroma (half) Mekroma (half) 

N.B. — The Sima clan is here, too, probably of Sema origin, the Sernas 
having at one time probably been located in the present Kezami country. 









Thama S. 

Tsoprama S. 

Besoma S. 







Pezoma. Pepfiinna, 





Merama Mekuma 



The small Tengima villages of Sachenobama, Choloma 
(Khonoma group), Sihama, Tichuma, and Nachama (Kohima 
group), and the half Serna village of Garifema have been 
omitted from this list. Sachenobama is composed of a 
dozen or so odd families from the various villages of the 
Edionoma group. Choloma, when I visited it, consisted 
of three houses only. Nachama is composed of various 
families of the different Chichama clans. 

Where one clan is half Pezoma and half Pepfuma the 
reason usually is to be found in adoption or migration. It 
seems to have been frequent, if not usual, for persons migra- 
ting to another village to be adopted into clans of the opposite 
Kelhu to which they belonged. The reason is no doubt 
that they married as a matter of course into the opposite 
KelhUf and were then adopted into the clans of their wives, 
having no clansmen of their own in the village, as in the 
case of Nihu’s ancestor given in the pedigrees in Part 
111 . 



1. Mbascebments taken by Peofessoe Dixon. 

2. Measurements taken by the Writeb. 








AN G AMI — continued . 




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1 1 


1 1 


: : : : : :::::: : : p : : : : : : 

lliill liiiil liilliliii 

ANGAMI — continued. 



•iUpBaig iBBBjsj q; 






•t[^3u9T; oii'OHdQ^ 

i0 00l'-i0'r|<i»cDOO05t^QC05f>Hi:^ 




'■§ s tcM || 

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P4 pL| ^ Q ^ 

a § s g a ^ 


s-g o 3 2,3 

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W fl S 

3 3 2 3 S a 

a a a 3 

[»N Nto H P? 

H oS c 8 $ 08 06 

Jgaa aasa ; 

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2 §3.2-^ 



V. :i to 

| 3 > 6 wWWl 3ai!‘^55j»WWi>a2 

General average of Tengima, Chakrima and Kezama Angamis 


SEMA — continued 



Average ; 186 • 247 





The Rengmas are di- 
vided into two linguistic 
groups speaking differ- 
ent languages, ^own as 
Tseminyu and Inseni- 
hotsenu. Tlie former is 
divided into K^Mnenyu, 
calling their fathers aphu 
and their mothers a/vyo^ 
and Azonyuj using the 
terms apyu and apfsu. 
The Inseni-kotsenu all use 
apa emdazhao. The Kete- 
nenyu division, although 
divided up into a num- 
ber of clans, still forms 
an exogamous group. 
Deeply pitted between 


CO ffo CO CO CO CO CO eo CO CO CO eo co co co co co co eo 

no CO r-< rH r-( CO l> t- 0 Cs| r-l »0 to «5 CO *0 

10 -tH to CO ^ rh Th 



'idH rH -Tji CO r*< CO rj* tO CO >H 

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‘eSy 0(j«uiixojddv 

10 to to 0 0 0 0 0 to to 0 0 CO to 0 0 to 0 0 

CO to 04 CO CO CO CO CO (N ■««!< to «M CO 04 tO CO CO 04 tO 




.S § 1 

s ^ 

i ^ 





















l - 

I s = 5 : r : : j =1 : s s : s j s I 

S 1 



1 4 




Keziitha . . . 




Tesimvyu ... 
Lhosanyu ... 
Gwasang ... 












LHOTA — continued. 






F F 

AO — continued. 






F F 2 

• I Nameithang | Nameithang | Hukpang 





Cheek bones unusually promi- 

<-H r* CO 0 0 »0 C<l Oa 0> N CO CO l> i-( CO CD 0 CO W5 Ob 


*q!»3ndT[ [werejjj 

CO ^ »0 0 CO CO »0 0 <N wo 00 04 0 0 iO OS r*< CO r*< CO 

WO Tt< CO »0 T»< ^^14 '<ii< ^ Tj< CO tK » 0 r*< •T^ 

*q'^pBdJp[ oipsqdeo 

OS WO 0 OS OS CD 10 l> 00 0 00 0 rH UO WO CO 0 

T»« WO 'r*« 'iCI CO '<?!4 rt4 Tt4 WO tJ4 10 WO rt4 ■>d< 10 

I-H rH ^ —<(—<.—< 1—^ f— < i--<pHi— ( i-H 

•q-^Sue*^ otpjqda^ 


* 08 v 0'^BTnixojddv 

»0©w0i0»000wo00»0»0»0l00»0«5000©00 1 

'^'^*4'4t4-<*«COi-*lOCO(MC4<Mn4Tj4Tj4<NCOT»<COCOCOTl4CO I 












































W ongnanyum 



0 S 

^ T3 

S .S 

H Eh 





Ghingham ... 





















The cephalic and naeal indices respectively, worked out to the nearest 
unit from the averages for each tribe, give the following results : — 

Angami ... 
Kengma. . . 
Lhota . . . 


Chang ... 
Konyak . . . 

Cephalic index 


Nasal index 

>> »» 


»» tf 


>f 99 

»» »> 


99 99 

>» »* 


99 99 

,, ,, 


99 99 

»> »» 


99 99 



What is noticeable about these figures is the comparative height of 
the nasal indices of the Lhota and Konyak figures, and the low figure for 
the Angami cephalic index and the high cephalic index of the Aos For 
the sake of comparison I have worked out the cephalic index from the 
figures given by Colonel Waddell as the average of each tribe in his paper 
on the tribes of the Brahmaputra valley. ^ The Lhota nasal index as 
resulting from my figures is perhaps fortuitous or erroneous. In any 
case, Colonel Waddell’s figures show a nasal index for the Lhotas of 79, 
with a cephalic index of 77. The figures for the Konyaks measured by 
me with their possible infusion of Shan blood may be compared with the 
cephalic and nasal indices respectively, according to Colonel Waddell’s 
figures, of the Fakials (a Shan tribe), c. i. 78 — n. i. 82, the Kukis, c. i. 76 — 
n. i. 91, and the Tsak-ma of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, c. i. 80 — ^n. i. 91. 
The low figure of the Angami cephalic index is caused by the low cephalic 
index of the Kezami Angamis, which is 74 against 77 each for the Tengima 
and Chakrima. It is also quite possible that the Lhotas and Sem€« would 
show figures approximating more nearly to the Angami standard if measure- 
ments were taken over the whole tribe, but my measurements were taken 
from the more northerly villages where there is almost certainly an admix- 
ture of Ao blood, particularly in the case of the Lhotas. The Kengmas 
measured by me were unfortunately all from the village of Themokedima, 
where there seems to have been a good deal of miscegenation when the 
Military Police outpost was at Wokha. The cephalic and nasal indices 
of the Ao are particularly interesting in view of the legend recorded by 
Mrs. Clark of a mixed settlement of Aos and Ahoms (c. i, 82 — ^n. i. 82)^ 
but may also be compared with the indices of the Miris (c. i. 81 — n. i. 84) 
and of some of the sub-Himalayan Mongoloid tribes recorded by Colonel 
Waddell, such as the Kiranti (c. i. 82^ — n. i. 86) and the Tibetans (c. i. 81 — 
n. 1. 82). With regard to the Aos it must be remembered that misce- 
genation has in any c€kse gone a good deal further than in any other Naga 
tribe treated of in this monograph. Gurkhali sepoys might be responsible 
for a certain approximation to the standard of sub-Hi malyan tribes in 
one or two villages in the case of individuals, but there has been an un- 
doubted admixture of Assamese blood from the plains in a large number of 
Ao viUages. At one time, probably that of the Burmese invasion of 
Assam, Assamese families fled to the hills in some numbers and in many 
cases settled there and adopted Naga customs and dress. They are now 

^ Journal of the Asiatic Society ^ 1900, 



Indistinguishable from the ordinary Ao except by their being liable to 
be abused as being of Assamese blood by some 'irritated neighbour. This 
admixture of plains blood might explain a tendency towards an Ahom 
head. Whatever explanation is sought for, one must bear in mind the 
peculiarly broad views entertained by the Aos on pre<marital chastity 
and post -marital fidelity. 


Ahu dhdn . . . 




^The Assamese 




A valuable wood from which oil is extracted for 
the manufacture of perfume. Aquilaria agallocha. 

Paddy grown in jhum fields as opposed to paddy 
grown in irrigated land. 

(< Assamese dpddlya^ ~ accidental ” or “ causing 
misfortune ” ; Bengali dpad — a calamity) applied 
to death by certain particular misadventures, 
e.g.., death in childbirth, killing by a tiger, loss 
in the jungle, drowning, killing by the fall of a 
tree or by a fall from a tree, death by snake-bite. 
These are not all regarded as “ Apotia ” deaths 
by all tribes, but the first three seem to be in- 
variably so regarded. 


. A form of currency formerly used in the Ao 
country and consisting of a narrow strip of 
iron from 6 to 8 inches long with a triangular 
projection at one end. Probably it represents 
a conventionalised spear. 

Chabili ^<chabi = a key, pronounced Sabill. 

. A section of bamboo used as a drinking vessel 
or for carrying water. In the latter case a 
length of 3 or 4 feet is used, the joints being 
pierced to admit the waU'r down to the 


. A sort of bill of varying shape used both for wood- 
cutting and as a weapon by the tribes of N.E. 
India and Burmah. Sometimes spelt dah, 

word is dpad, meaning a calamity. — ^P. R. 



DeO’fndni ... 








Qaonbura ... 


genna-hura ... 




... {lit, “god-bead”). A vajriety of bead made from a 
reddish - brown stone flecked with black. The 
stone seems to be found in Nepal and beads made 
from it are very highly prized by Nagas. Possibly 
dug from ancient graves. 

Ihe Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, volume 
xvi, p. 713, contains a notice by H, Piddington 
of the “ Deo-Monnees or Sacred Beads of Assam.” 

... The unhusked grain of the rice plant, commonly 
called “paddy.” 

... Loin-cloth. A strip of broad muslin cloth wrapped 
round the waist, drawn between the legs and 
tucked in in front. It forms the ordinary nether 
garment of Assam and Bengal. 

... See dali. 

... A large basket averaging about 6 feet in height 
and 2^ feet in diameter with a pointed cover. 
Used for storing grain by the Angamis. 

... A gathering of persons for conference ; an official 

... See zu. 


... {lit. — village elder). The head man of a village 
or of a “ khel ” holding his appointment from 

... See note preceding Part I, and also Part IV under 
heading “ Genna.” 

... {lit. — genna elder). A Naga- Assamese term used 
more or less indiscriminateljr for the four religious 
officials of the Angami village (see Part IV), 
and for the corresponding functionaries in other 
Naga tribes. 


... A four-footed carrying basket with a pointed lid 
narrower at the bottom than the middle. It 
is made of two thicknesses of split bamboo or 
cane, with a lining of bamboo leaves in between 
to keep out the wet. Generally from 3 to 34 feet 
in height and 18 to 20 inches in diameter. 

... Land cultivated by “ jhuming.” 

... A form of extensive cultivation in which an area 
is cleared of jungle (which is burnt, the ashes 
being dug into the ground), and sown for two 
successive years. At the end of this period 
weeds come up too thickly for convenient cultiva- 
tion, and the fertility of the soil is to some extent 
diminished. The land is then allowed to remain 
imcultivated for from five to fifteen years, at 
the end of which time there is a fresh deposit of 
leaf mould and the growth of tall vegetation has 
killed off the small weeds that interfere with 
cultivation. In jhuming only one crop is sown 
in the year, rice in the first year being followed 
by millet in the second where this cereal is 




KdcTheri or “ cutcherry,” the magistrate's court. 

kdchu The arum, Colocasia arUiqttorumy grown largely 

as food by the more northern and eastern Naga 

kdlda Narrow-necked earthenware jar for storing liquid ; 

two to three feet in height. 

hang A basket wide at the top and pointed at the bottom 

used for carrying. 

khang See kang, * 

khalsi See kcdas, 

khU The word for an exogamous group among the 

Ahoms. Hence applied to the Angami thino, 
and as the different thino in an Angami village 
usually live in separate quarters, the word has 
consequently been applied to a subdivision of a 
Naga village regardless of exogamy, to which, 
as in the case of the Sernas for instance, it has 
frequently no reference at all. 
kodali See phartta. 


Lao Gourd used for carrying and storing liquor. 

lengta A narrow strip of cloth tied round the waist, passing 

between the legs from behind and up to the waist 
again in front, whence it falls down again in a 
square flap. 


Maclidn A raised platform made of bamboos split and 

interwoven, of simple bamboos, or of wood. 

m^itessa A cereal used in the concoction of fermented liquor — 

the great millet sorghm/i vulgare). 

mUhan The domesticated variety of Bos frontalis, one of 

the species of Indian bison. 

mddhu Fermented liquor brewed from rice, of which there 

are three or four varieties known to Nagas, viz.: — 
pita modhu, made from uncooked rice and fer- 
mented after the addition of water, a very mild 
drink ; kachdri modhu and rohi, made from rice 
boiled and subsequently fermented ; and sdkd 
modhu, made by infusion, boiling water being 
poured through previously steeped and fermented 
rice, like the first a mild concoction. 

mOrung (or deka chdng) The house in which the bachelors of the clan sleep. 

Also used as a centre for clan ceremonies and a 
sort of men’s club generally. 


Paddy Rice growing or in the husk. 

pdnikhits (Ke. “ water-ffelds ”). Irrigated and flooded terraces 

for growing wet rice. 




pice ... 

€erow ... 




... Spikes of hardened bamboo used to impede the 
passage of an enemy, impale wild animals in 
pits, etc. They vary from eight inches to four 
feet in length, and when well seasoned by exposure 
to the weather are sharp enough to pierce the sole 
of a boot. 

... An implement used for hoeing and digging and 
made like a spade with the blade at right angles 
to the handle. The term is also applied to Naga 

... A small coin roughly equivalent to a farthing. 


. . . The British Government. 

... Nemarhhoedtbs nibida, a species of antelope allied 
to the goat and Uving on jungle-clad precipices. 
The variety alluded to in this monograph is the 
Burmese or red serow. The Assamese call it 
deockaguli (=: “ god -goat **), probably owing to 
its extraordinary elusiveness. 

... A tracker, hxmter of game. 


... Fermented liquor. See Part IX. {Zu is an Angami 



Ablutions, of head-taker, 239 , 

Abor Expedition, 369 
Abortion, 171, 172 ; practice of — 
precludes ignorance of laws of 
procreation, 400 ; not prac- 
tised (Memi), 341 

Adoption, 117 et seq, ; effect on 
marriage cu tom, 120 ; in- 
heritance in case of, 136, 137 
Adultery, punishment of, 150, 168, 
225, (Lhotas) 367 
Adze (Kethi), 66 
Affinities, 16 

After-birth, disposal of (Memi), 341, 

Agriculture, 72 et seq, 

Ahom, kings enlist Nagas and have 
dealings with Manipur, 13 ; 
king seeks r(?fuge in Tanhai, 384 
Ahoms, dual organisation of, 110, 
n. 2 

AlcsUy Ao levy for entertaining 
guests, 374 

Alders, pollarding of, 76 ; use of, in 
^ birth ceremonies, 216 
Amazons. See under Legends 
Amung, Ao equivalent of Penna, 

Angami, Eastern, definition of 
term, 16 ; physical type of, 20 ; 
style of hairdressing, 22 ; cloths 
used by, 26 ; bead necklace 
worn by, 23 ; leggings worn by 
men of, 31 ; use of “ pissoh 
by, 24 ; immarried men’s 
cloth, 26 ; spears used by, 34 ; 
dao, 36 ; women’s cloths, 26 ; 
dress, 26, 27 ; ornaments worn 
by, 28 ; house ornamentation 
among, 55 ; memorials of dead, 
47 ; look-out places, 47 ; 
method of keeping mithan, 80 ; 
Kemovo among, 187 ; First 
Keaper among, 189 ; gennas 
among, 197, 200 ; Sekrengi 
among, 205 ; marriage rites of, 
222, 223 ; provision for widows, 
168 ; prostitution among, 173 


Angami, origin of term, 14 
Angamis, 16, 27 ; classification of, 
in Census of India, 8 ; habitat, 
6, 14, 16 ; included in Western 
Nagas, 351 ; division into 
groups, 15, 355 ; origin of, 110 ^ 
Butler’s story of Origin, 20 ; 
place of origin, 414 ; ancestors 
of, 112 ; affinity to Khoirao 
Nagas and Kacha Nagas, 16 ; 
dual organisation, 110; allied 
to Memi, 7, 8, 294 ; probably 
of same stock as Lhotas, 
Kengmas, and Sernas, 10, 17, 
18 ; points of resemblance be- 
tween, and Konyak tribes, 386 ; 
appearance and physical char- 
acteristics of, 20, 21 ; men- 
tality and intelligence, 37 ; 
character, 38 seq, ; relations 
with Manipur, 13 ; enlisted by 
Ahom kings, 13 ; defeat 
Sernas, attacked by Lhotas, 7 ; 
state of, prior to arrival of 
British — ^feuds in villages, 12 ; 
methods of warfare, 12, 13 ; 
admit authority of priests of 
Mao and Maikel, 7 
Animal as embodied spirit, 180 
Animals killed by birds or beasts 
tabu to First Sower and 
Reaper, 189 ; restriction on 
moving, during genna, 198 ; 
legend of friendly, 271 ; domes- 
tic, origin of, 202 ; birth of, 
entails “ kenna,” 214 ; birth 
and death of, entail “ kenna ” 
(Memi), 338 

Animals, wild, hunted at Sekrengi, 
205 ; killing of, entails fast 
(Memi), 338 
Animatism, 179 

Anthropometrical measurements, 
vary little, 10 ; tables, 423 et 

Anvil (Rekri-chi), 63 
Aos, descriptive note on, 370-375 ; 
origin of, and affinities, 370^ 




371 ; characteristics of — ap- 
pearance, 370 ; dress, tattoo- 
ing, ornaments, 371 ; houses, 
administration, sale of insignia, 
division into two groups, lan- 
guage, 372 ; exogamy, clans, 
food tabus, totemism, religion, 
Christianity among, entertain- 
ment of guests, 373 ; omens, 
oaths, want of chastity among, 
374 ; disposal of dead, folklore, 
language, 375 ; receive lands 
from Assam Kajas, 13 ; chang- 
ing rapidly, vii ; habitat, 6 ; 
included in Central Nagas, 351 ; 
legends of origins, 6, 370 ; 
claim trans-Bikliu origin, 10 ; 
traditional connection with 
Shitri, 390 ; conflict with 
Lhotas, 363, 371 ; erroneously 
said to be of Lhota stock, 360 ; 
character compared with other 
tribes, 364 ; theft meritorious, 
166 ; “ very particular liars,” 
162, n. 1 ; chastity of girls 
among, 169, 170; entirely 

Jhum cultivators, 72 ; use of 
flint and steel by, 56 ; hoe, 79 ; 
iron as currency among, 71 ; 
land laws among, 141, n. ; 
sacriflce slaves to make yieace, 
161 ; cloths of, 62 ; wear 
boars’ tusks as necklet, 24 ; 
style of hairdressing, 22 ; 
houses, 363 ; Morung, 49 ; 
food tabus among, 395, 396 ; 
omen taking by, 218, n. 1 ; 
girls remove ear-rings when 
tattooed, 214, n. 3 ; belief as 
to future existence, 1 86 ; dis- 
posal of dead, lack of orienta- 
tion, 415 ; practise tree burial, 
disposal of skulls by, 162 

Aoshed, Kalyo-Kengyu tribe, ^.v. : 
axe -shaped dao made by, 

Apfu (mother), term used in the 
Kepepfuma division of An- 
gamis, 110 

Apo (father), term used in the 
Kepezoma division of An- 
gamis, 110 

Apotia, imnatural death, 95, n, g,v. 

Appearance, as a guide to grouping 
tribes, 382 

Appellations, distinctive of tribal 
divisions, 110 et seg. See also 
Father and Mother 

Apvu (father), term used in the 

Kepepfuma division of An- 
gamis, 110 

Archaic language, use of, 195 
Aimlcts, 24, 30, 31 ; worn by 
warriors, 30-32 ; by yoimg 
men, 30 

Arras, ornaments worn on, 24 ; 

taken as trophies, 168 
Arrow, to keep off angry spirit in 
pj’thon killing genna (Changs), 
381 ; poisoned, used by certain 
tribes, 37 ; use by Changs, 378 
Asapu, mythical ancestor of Mayang 
(Plainsmen) (Memi), 348 et seg, 
Asimi, clan origin and food tabus of, 
393, 394 

Assam census report, 167, 170 172, 
370 ; on Ao village, 372 
Assam Rajas, granted lands to 
Lhotas and Aos, 13 ; enlist 
Angamis, 13 

Assiringia = Mirinokpo, g,v. 
Astronomical, 410-413 
Awomi, Sema clan, origin of name 
and food tabus of, 394, 395 
Axe (Men*), 65 ; (Sidure), 66 
Ayemi, Sema clan, origin of food 
tabus, 392, 395 
Ayepi, sort of fairy, 182 
Azo (mother), term used in the 
Kepezoma division of Angamis, 

Azonyu, division of Rengmas, 361 

Bagti, river, 362 ; — ^mukh Lhotas 
cross D5yang at, 7, 362 
Bakechuguo, “ Sit-and-eat charm,” 

Balfour (Mr. ), of Pitt River Museum, 
viii ; on spearheads, 34 
Bamboo, drinking cups of, 58 ; 
flutes of, 69 ; hoe made of, 78, 
79 ; knife of, used to cut navel 
string, 214, n. 2 ; (Memi), 342 ; 
in basket making, 65 ; in 
head-bands, 65 ; in mats, 65 ; 
Jews’ harp of, 69 ; masi^ to 
drive off sickness, 178 ; pickle, 
94 ; pickles used in tempering 
iron, 64 ; pincers, 63 ; pre- 
serves, 77 ; shields made of, 
35 ; shoots, restriction on con- 
veying, during genna, 198 ; 
spikes, to ward off evil spirits, 
53. See also Panjis, Kethi- 
Thedie ; used to rook in, by 
sacrifleer of python (Changs), 



Banishment* as punishment for 
homicide* 149 

Banparas* Assamese name for Kon- 
yak, 384 
Bcmshee, 183, n. 

Bantu, saying regarding cats, 82, 
n. 2 

Barail Range, 15 

Barak river, connection with Milky 
Way, 412 

Barbarossa, Angami equivalent of, 
13, 252 

Barbs of spear-heads, significatioh 
of, 34 

Barge-boards, 51 ; (Fusi) insignia of 
performer of Zhatho genna, 
231 ; of Lesu, 232 
Baring Gould, 243, w. 3 
Barnes (Mr.)» viii, ix 
Barrenness, belief regarding cause 
of, 191 

Bart,hakur, Babu Hemakauta, ix 
Basket, industry, 64, 65 ; types of, 
53, 64 ; (Be, Zharha, Zhazho) 
grain measure, 231, n. 2 ; 
(Jappas), 59 ; (Lithi), 65 
Baskets, as strainers, 57 
Basket work, dishes, 59 
Beads, as ornaments, 23 ; trade in, 
67 ; tied to wrist of dead 
Lhota, 1 86 ; buried with female 
corpse, 226 

Beans, 77, 93 ; not eaten by certain 
pereons among Memi, 339 
Bean-sidhe = Rho-pfu, 183, w. 
Bear, hunting of, 86 ; legend of 
stupidity of, 270 
Bear skin, on shields, 35 
Beds, 53 ; restrictions on use of, by 
boys, 204 

Beer drinking, 59 ; in housebuilding 
ceremony, 52, 53. See also Zu 
Bees (Kevu, Mekwi), keeping and 
capture of, 83 
Bees’ nests, taking of, 236 
Belhonoma putsa, rain -making by, 

Bellows (Kuru), 63 
Bells, worn by Aos in ceremonial 
dress, 371 

Bellukluh, Memi month (October), 
345, 347 

Belt, 25 ; of Konyak tribes, 384 ; 

Chang, descril^d, 377, 378 
Bibliography, 333 

Bigamy, 168, 219 ; (Rengmaa), 361 ; 
(Lhotas), 367 

Bile, toad’s, as medicine, 100 
Birdlime (Ketsa), 88 

Birds himted at Sekrengi genna, 205 
Birth ceremonies, 214-216 ; omitted 
in case of illegitimate births, 
172 ; customs (Memi), 341 ; 
proceedings at (Memi), 342 ; 
genna, effect of non-perform- 
ance, 185 

Blacksmith, trade, etc., 63 
Blame, causes evil, 252 
Blood, as food, 93 ; chickens’, as 
medicine, 100 

Boar, the great, of Dayang Valley, 
1 80 ; worn as necklets, 24 
Boar tushes distinctive of killer of 
men, leopard and tiger, 159 
Bone used in necklaces, 23 ; method 
of working, 67 

Bones, removal of, of dead, 228 
Bongtoc, similarity of terrace cul- 
tivation, 8 

Bos frontalis. See Mithan 
Bosorr. See Kalyo-Kengyu 
Bough, symbol of peace and 
Kenna, 293 

Bow, buried with man (Memi), 339, 
See also Cross-bow 
Bow and arrow, not used by An- 
gamis, 36 

Bow, pellet, copied from Kukis, 37 ; 
mentioned in tale, described, 

Boy, share in marriage cei’emonies, 

Boys, special dormitory for (Memi), 
343 ; leave “ women’s side,” 
204, 219; ear-piercing, 217; 
in Thekrangi ^nna, 205-208 ; 
in door dragging genna, 212 ; 
officiate in Derochu genna, 

Bracelet, 24 ; worn by Angami 
women, 28 

Brains, not eaten by children, 95 ; 

of fish, as medicine, 100 
Brass work, 64 
Brer Fox, 253 
Brer Rabbit, 253 

Bride’s procession to, and method of 
entering groom’s house, 221 , n. ; 
cooks meal for groom’s house- 
hold, 221 ; makes zu, 220 ; 
gifts to, by parents, 139, 140 
Bridegroom, conduct during mar- 
riage C/eremonies, 221 ; gifts 
to, by parents, 139, 140 ; gift 
to bride (Memi), 69, n. 

Bride price. See Marriage price 
Bridges, 46 ; building of, as cure of 
epidemic, 246 

448 INDEX 

British Buie, 13 ; gradual advance 
of, stops advance of Kukis, 14 ; 
coming of, foretold, Lhota 
legend, 368 ; expulsion of, 
prophesied, 13, 252 
Browne Wood, extract from Report, 
etc., 334 

Buffalo horn trumpet, 68 ; points 
to contact of Angamis and 
Konyak tribes, 386 
Buffaloes, 84 ; Hlled in stone- 
pulling ceremony (Meini), 346 
Bulls, killed in social gennas, 

Burial, importance of, by effigy, 

Burier. See Gravedigger 
Burmese iron foundry, 13 
Burmese thread, use of, 25 
Butler, description of Lhota«, 17 ; 

story of Angami origin, 20 
Butler, Captain, vii, 178 ; rough 
notes on Angamis, 333 ; de- 
scription of Angarni village, 44, 
45 ; memorial monolith, 49 ; 
regarding adultery, 160 ; on 
Naga chiefs and democracy, 
143 ; on oaths, 146 ; erroneous 
views as to prostitution, de- 
scription of Angami women, 
173; on symbolic language, 292, 

Butler, Major, travels and adven- 
tures in the province of Assam, 
333 ; sketch of Assam, on 
Konyak tribes, 387 ; account 
of human sacrifice, 159 ; on 
vendetta, 150 ; on man -lulling 
customs, 160 ; on Khonoma 
defences, 155 ; on oaths, 146 ; 
on omens, 151, 244 ; on Naga 
Chief, 142 ; on poisoning wells, 
153 ; on value of slaves, 164 ; 
on torture of coolie, 155 ; re- 
garding Bhutanese dao, 366 
Butler, Mr,, ix 

Butterfly form assumed by spirit of 
dead, 1 84 ; soul in form of, 247 ; 
killing, unlucky, 184, n. 1 

Cactus, planting causes storms, 

Calendar, 197 ; Angami year, 411 ; 
(Memi), 347 

Calf, tied up and released at Titho 
genna, 209, 210 
Cane bridges, 46 

Cane, in basket making, 65 ; in 
head-bands, 65 ; armlets and 
leggings plaited as spear oma- 
ment, 33, 34 ; plaited necklets 
of, 23 ; lings of, on legs, 24 ; 
worn by Konyak tribes, 386 
Cannibals, mythical habitat of, 96, 

Camegy, Mr., report on Kohima 
massacre, 162, 163 
Carving, 66 ; conventional designs, 
66, 67 ; on morungs, of Konyak 
tribes, 386 

Casserly, Major, description of 
Naga warfare, 36 
Castration of pigs, 81 
Cat, killed to cause death of thief, 
242 ; kittening dying cause of 
genna (Memi), 338 ; sacrifice 
of, 83, 99, 241 ; sacrificed at 
making peace, 166 
“ Cat Genna,'’ 242 
Cats, customs and tabus regarding, 
82, 83 ; treatment of, etc., 
among Memi, 340 

Cattle, keeping of, 80 ; killed at 
gennas, 194 ; killed in stone - 
pulling ceremonies, 345, 346 ; 
killing of, after a death, 225, 

Cave of the Dead (Lhotas), 186, 367, 
368 ; of pictures, 368 
Celts, 403 et seq. 

Census of India, 8 
Central Naga sub-group of lan- 
guages, 9 

Central Nagas, 351, 353, 370 
Ceremonial dress, 197, 198, 201, 203, 
211, 212 ; of men and women, 
28 et seq. ; in funeral cere- 
monies, 227 ; not worn by 
mourners, 213 ; worn at 
gennas, 194, 195, 231, 232 ; at 
Thekrangi genna, 20^208 ; at 
Sekrengi geima, 205 ; laid by 
coipso, 225 ; of Aos, 371 ; of 
Reiigmas, 360, 361 ; of Sernas, 
356, 357 

Ceremonial shields, 35 
Ceremonial weapons, 33 et seq. 
Ceremonies, of adoption, 119 ; birth, 
ear-piercing, 214-217 ; nam- 
ing, 217; connected with hoiwe- 
building, 52, 53 ; preceding 
poisoning fish, 90 ; communal, 
196 ; public, directed by Ke- 
movo, 187 ; by Puti (Lhotas), 
368 ; by Awou (Sernas), 368 ; 
by Mohvu (Memi), 337 



Chabili, Ao iron money, 71, 72 
Chachu, 198; (June), 197, 411 
Cha-da>ngi. See Tsimgi among 

Cl a 

Chadi (July), 197, 411 
Ch&kerdmo, torture of, 12, 165 
Chikiima (Ch6krama), habitat, 15 ; 
Angami group, 355 ; included 
in “ Western Naga ” language 
group, 294; appellation among, 
111 ; custom as to Mengu, 138 ; 
division of Memi, 111-112; 
graves among, 227 ; house- 
building ceremonies among, 52 ; 
stone-pulling among, 232 ; sig- 
nificance of cowries on kilt 
among, 25 ; unmarried man’s 
cloth, 26; decay of exogamy 
among, 114 

Chakroma (road below men), name 
of mixed group of villages, 16 ; 
Angami group, 355 ; know- 
ledge of poisons, 243 ; jhuming 
in, 141 ; Titho genna in, 209 ; 
marriage price in, 168 
Chakru, songs sung in villages 
and fields, 282 

Chalenoma, kindred connection with 
rain-making, 238 

Chalitsuma, Semoma sept, 115; 

constitution of, 116, 117 
Chaliu, ancestor Chalitsuma sept, 
117 ; in Srisalhu’s genealogy, 

Chammi, clan food tabu, 391 
Chammipvi, one of the three groups 
into which Lhotas are divided, 

Champhai, 8 

Chamtessu, cloth worn by spearer 
of enemy, among Lhotas, 365 ; 
Changchanglung, one of Lhota 
fighting stones, 368 
Changnyu, mother village of Kon- 
yak tribe, 383 

Changs, descriptive note, 377-382 ; 
habitat, characteristics, phy- 
sique, 377 ; dress, 377, 378 ; 
weapons, warfare, poisoned 
arrows, houses, 378 ; art, tat- 
tooing, 379 ; chiefs, internal 
organisation, exogamy, chas- 
tity of girls, beliefs as to tigers 
and pythons, lycanthropy, 379, 
380 ; folklore, legend of separa- 
tion of Kaga tribes, 381 ; dis- 
posal of dead, language, reasons 
for inclusion in Central Naga 
group, 382 ; habitat, 6 ; in- 
angami nagas 

eluded in Central Nagas, 351 ; 
movement of, 10 ; repudiate 
claim of Aos to common 
origin, 370 ; incorporate Ao 
villages, 363 ; omnivorous, 
93 ; chastity of girls among, 
170 ; premarital relations of 
sexes, 400 ; shave heads of 
unmarried girls, style of hair- 
dressing, 22 ; wear boars* 
tusks as necklet, 24 ; cur- 
rency, 72 ; use cross-bows, 37 ; 
dao, 36 ; use poison in war, 
153 ; punishment for theft 
among, 148, n. ; belief as to 
future state, 186 ; hair as 
offering to spirit of python, 
166, n. ; possible origin of food 
tabu regarding python, 396 ; 
potmaking tabus, 64 ; custom 
regarding unnatural deaths, 
96 ; rain -making among, 402 ; 
disposal of dead, orientation of 
dead, and houses, 416, 416 ; 
disposal of skulls by, 162, n. 2 ; 
folklore similar to that of Aos, 

Changsang, 362; fish -poisoning in, 

Character, 37 et seq. ; of Sernas, 
Rengmas, and Lhotas, 177 ; of 
Aos and Lhotas, 364 

Charr, men of, mtercourae with their 
wives, 170, n. 3 

Chastity during gennas, 198, 201 ; 
(Memi), 337, 338, 348 ; of 
assistants in stone -pulling cere- 
mony, 346 ; in Derochu genna, 
234 ; of Yuhongba celebrant, 
345 ; observed by stone - 
pullers, 211 ; imposed on cook 
of offerings to dead (Memi), 
339 ; of Sagei, on erection of 
memorial monolith, 345 ; of 
parents at ear-piercing genna 
(Memi) at Ale -we genna, 343 ; 
of married women, 167 ; of 
immarried women, 169-173 ; 
of Serna women, 359 ; of Chang 
girls, 380 ; of women, wanting 
among Aos, 374, 375 

Chaw-zu-lappa, Memi month (Jan- 
uary), 347, 348 

Chephama, 230 ; poisons sepoys, 

Cherama, Kohima clan, origin of, 
116, 256, 267, 258; clan re- 
fuse to fetch Kerutsa’s corpse, 
238 ; reason for not inter- 

Q G 



marrying with Kosuma, 258, 
398, 399 

Cherema (Natsimi), 407 ; war with 
Themokedima, 254 
Cherhechima. See Elachima. 
Chesholimi, clan origin of, 393, 395 
Chest, pains in, cure, 99 
Ohesu, chicken released, 179 
Oheswezuma, 7 ; two Kemovos in, 
188 ; curse pronoimced in case 
of death of man of, 242 
Ohetononoma clan, 236, 238, 256, 
257; clan of Pferonoma, 115; 
origin of clan, 170, n. 2; fetch 
Kerutsa’s corpse, 238 
Chhip-pe, wands used in stone - 
piilling ceremony, 346 
Chiathang suckles his daughter, 217 
Chibu, Lhota equivalent of clan, 

Chichama, 254 
** Chicken roost,” 43 
Chicken sacrificed in Terho-rogi 
genna, 234 ; in python killing 
genna (Change), 381 ; buned 
alive with corpse, 226 ; chased 
and killed m stone>pulIing 
ceremony, 346 ; released to 
avert disease, 179 ; hatching 
of, cause of genna (Memi), 338 
Chief, position of, 142 ; among 
{^mas, 358 ; among Change, 
379 ; skulls hung in house of, 

Chiese, shrub used in omen taking, 
218, 239, 245 

Chikeo, master of wild animals, 
legend, 182, n. 1, 266 
Chikrau, First Sower, or Samugut- 
ing, q.v. 

Child, washes corpse, 225 ; cere- 
monies connected with birth 
and childhood (Memi), 342, 
343 ; custody of, after death of 
father, 217 ; disposal of, if 
mother dies, 216 ; treatment 
of, after birth, 215 ; lengthy 
. suckling of, 217 ; special burial 
of, dying unnamed (Memi), 
340, 342 ; bom with placenta 
adhering killed, 172 ; illegiti- 
mate, 171, 172; food tabus, 
95 ; high value set on heads 
of, 163, 164 

Childbirth, death in, 95, 216 ; 

(Memi), 340 

Chillies, 77 ; indispensable diet, 93 ; 
used in tempering iron, 64 ; 
prophecy regarding men climb- 

ing up, 252 ; use of in symbolic 
message, 292 

Chimdkedima, village of Chakroma 
group, 15 

China, Nagas traced back to, 8 
Chinese iron foundry, 13 
Chipfu, medicinal plant, 99 
Chipokitema, 14 
Chire (August), 197, 198, 411 
Chisel (Ruzhe), 65, 66 
Chishilimi clan, origin of, 393, 395 
Chisu, See Stone-pulling, 
Chi-thu-ni-kluh, first month of Memi 
year (December), 344, 345, 347 
Chizama, reputed ancestor of An- 
gamis, 112 

Cholera, origin of, legend, 263 ; 
spirit, 99 

Choloma, v. Chowuma 
Chomhu, tree, 261 
Chongli, group name among Aos, 
372 ; women’s hairdressing, 
371, 372 

Chongpo, Chang clan, 379, 381 
Chophimi, Serna clan, makes war 
gongs, 354 

Choraidco, 384 et seq, 

Chotonoma. See Chetonoma 
Chovoma, division of Memi, 111, 112 
Chowuma (Choloma), village of 
Chakroma group, 15 
Christianity, among Aos, 373, 374, 
375 ; influence on Angami 
religious beliefs, 180, 181 
Christians, increase of, vii 
Chu See Dhuli 

Chualan Abaja, hermaphrodite, 216, 
n. 2 

Chumm, Lhota name for Sernas, 355 
Chusenu — Armageddon, belief re- 
garding, 252 

Clan, social unit, 109 ; history of, 
changes in, 109-117 ; adoption 
into, 118; names of, possible 
origins of, 393, 394, 395 ; 

among Changs, 379-380 ; 
(Chibu) among Lhotas, 366 ; 
exogamous, 113 ; decay of 
exogamy in, split in Septs, 116 ; 
in funeral rites, 226 ; inter- 
clan duties among Aos, 374 ; 
in Khonoma, 128 ; legend of 
origin of Kohima, 256 ; list of 
Angami, by villages, 418-422 ; 
men of other, required for cer- 
tain tasks in funeral rites, 226, 
227, 228 ; peculiar constitution 
of some, 114 and App. X ; right 
m inheritance, 135 



dark^ Mr. and Mrs., on Aos, 370, 

Cleanliness of Angaznis, 21 

Cloth, stone -puller’s (Memi), 346 ; 
of Pxtsu, 26, 189 ; to dream of 
tom cloth unlucky (Memi), 
342 ; use of, in symbolic 
message, 292 ; description of, 25, 
26 ; buried with female corpse, 
226, 227 ; burnmg of, neces- 
sitates a penna, 213 ; of Kalyo- 
Kengyu, 383 ; of nettle fibres 
26 ; offered to keep off disease, 
179 ; peculiar to performers of 
certain “ gennas,” 26, 231 ; 
peculiar to unmarried men, 26 ; 
show social position of wearer 
among Lhotas, 364, 365. See 
cUso Weaving 

Clothes, thrown away after sacri- 
ficLal killing of python, 380 ; to 
dream of man in liew, foretells 
death, 247 ; worn inside out on 
warpath, 151 

(Jock, crowing orne'n for village site, 
258 ; flight of, as omen, 246 ; 
killed to close funeral rites, 
228 ; legend about cock calling 
sun, 259 ; presented to mother 
after birth of first child if male, 
224 ; released m door-dragging 
genna, 212 ; at Tit ho genna, 
209 ; sacrifice of, 99 ; sacrificed 
to cure child’s peevish- 
ness, 234 ; strangled at 
Sokrengi, 203 ; to dream of, 
portends birth of son (Memi), 

Coffin, construction, of grass burnt 
in, 226 ; varieties of, used, 416, 

Colour, of inithan influenced by 
treatment, 79, 80 ; of skin 
darkened rapidly by change of 
habitat, 18, n. 

Comets, legend regarding, 413 

Compass, points of, 410 

Conch shell, worn as ornament, 23 ; 
as curremey, 71, 72 ; worn by 
Angami women, 28 

Contes (as far as possible all tales 
and stories have been grouped 
under this heading), 253, 266- 
282 ; Battle of the Birds and 
Snakes, 267 ; The Bear, 270 ; 
Boiled Crab, 270 ; Chikeo’s 
Gift, 266 ; The Deaf and the 
Blind, 279 ; The Dog, 269 ; 
The Fig Tree, 266 ; Hunchibili, 

280 ; The Ingenious Orphan^ 
274 ; The Man, the Kat, and 
the Toad divide their Rice, 199; 
The Man who turned Ashes to 
Rupees, 278 ; Matsuo, 273 ; 
The Monkey and the Jackal, 
277; The Mouse, 269; The 
Rat Princess and the Greedy 
Man, 272 ; The Shrew-mouse, 
268; Snakes, 268; Story of 
Jesu, 310 ; The Ogress (Kacha 
Naga), 279 ; of origin of Ter- 
hengi genna, 201 ; The Travel- 
Img Companions and the Grate- 
ful Doe, 271 ; The Wild Dog, 

Cooking, methods of, 93, 94 
Cooking pot, 57 ; earthen, not used 
by baenfieer of python, 380 ; of 
mother tJirown away after 
birth (Memi), 341, 343 ; re- 
newal of, by Yuhongba, cele- 
brant, by stone-puller (Memi), 

Cornelian beads, 23 ; beads worn by 
Angami women, 28 
Corjise, division of, enemy’s, 32 
Cosa’s fen, 180 
Cosmetics, use of, 22 
Cotton, 77 ; clcRiiing, spinning, etc., 
60 ; v (having, 61 ; cotton gin, 
Meza tsangyusi, 60 
Council, of elders, 143 ; (Aos), 372 
Cow, calving f»r dying, cause of 
genna (Memi), 338 
Cow- bells, 80 

Cowries, not worn by Angami 
women, but worn by Serna 
women, 27 ; usually sign of 
martial achievements, tied to 
wrist of dead Lhota, 186; 
significance of lines of, on kilts, 
24, 25 ; on armlets, 30 ; 

usually only worn by men an 
exception among Rengmas and 
Semas, 360 

Crab (Sego), as food, 93 ; as medi- 
cine, 100; legend of boiled, 
270 ; in Lhota rain -making 
ceremony, 401 
Crocodile, 147, n. 

Crops, varieties of, 77 ; improved 
by human sacrifice, 161 ; by 
owning a celt, 403 
Cross-bow u.sed by certain tribes, 
37 ; by Central Naga tnbes, 
376 ; "of Changs, 378 ; by 
Semas, 357 

Crows, flesh unclean, 96 

O O *2 



Currency, 71, 72 

Curse, pronounced by clan, 83, 241, 

Daily life, routine, 104 

Damant, Mr., 96 

Dancing, described, 195 ; as game, 
104 ; as nanu, 194 ; in door- 
dragging genna, 213 ; at Thek- 
rang!, 198, 205, 206 ; of Kacha 
Nagas and Kabuis, 352 ; among 
Sernas, 359 

Dancing place, 48. See Tehuba 

Dao (Zhe), 36, 65 ; chisel-edged, 64 ; 
Chang, 378 ; axe -shaped, made 
by Aoshed, used by Naked 
Ken^mas, 379 ; obsolete dao, 
possibly Tibetan origin, 365 ; 
made by Wakching and Wan- 
ching. 385 ; licking of, relieves 
pain of wound caused by, 100 ; 
throwii away after sacrifice of 
python (Changs), 380 ; buried 
with male corpse, 226 ; (Memi), 

Dapetsuma -- Dapfetsunia Dap- 
futsuma, Pferoiioma, clan, 115 ; 
Kohima clan, origin of, 256, 257, 
258 ; fetch Kerutsa’s corpse, 

Daughters, inheritance of, 137 ; 
gifts to, 137 et seq. 

Davis, A. W., ix, 334 ; on human 
sacrifices, 160 ; on position of 
women, 167, 169 ; views on 
infanticide, 172 

D&yang, river, 7, 14, 359, 368 ; oath 
on, 145, n. ; influence on I^hota 
customs, 362 

Dead, abode of. Perry’s theory of 
location, 414 ; positions as- 
signed by various tribes, 414- 
417 ; disposal of, 225-230, 
414-^:17 ; among Aos, 375 ; 
(Memi), 339 ; by Yachumi, 
377 ; burial of (Angamis, 
Sernas, Rengmas), 414-417 ; 
(Changs), 382 ; platform ex- 
posure (Changs, Aos, Konyak 
tribes), 415, 416 ; Konyak 

tribes, 386 ; tree exposure of 
(Phom), Aos, Konyak tribes, 
162 ; method of disposal of, as 
aid to classification of tribes, 
353 ; offerings to (Memi), 339 ; 
orientation of, 414-416 ; Path 

of the, Hill of the. Cave of 
the, 186 ; resurrection of, 262 ; 
to dream of, unlucky, 222 
Death, 225-230 ; ceremonies after 
(Memi), 339, 340 ; postpones 
genna, 198 ; entails genna 
(Memi), 339 ; as punishment 
for adultery, 150 ; as punish- 
ment for theft, 148, n. ; as 
result of genna, 193 ; result of 
false oath, 144 ; from approach- 
ing foot of rainbow, 261 ; 
genna, for those lost in jungle, 
182 ; dreams which foretell, 
247 ; unnatural, definition, 96 ; 
funeral rites after, 229 ; in- 
volves destruction of deceased’s 
property (Lhotas), 367 ; in 
childbirth, involves genna 
(Memi), 340 ; by tiger or by 
drowning, special fimeral rites 
(Memi), 340 ; existences after, 
184, 186, 186 

Deer, crossing path unlucky, 244 ; 
effect of, rumiing into house, 
259 ; hunting of, 86, 86 
Deer trap, 87 

Delivery, method of, 214 ; of 
illegitimate child, 217 ; place 
of (Memi). 342 
“ Deo-mani,” 23 
Depilation, 22 

Descent on male side only recog- 
nised, exception, 398, 399 
Dhan, xmhusked rice, to dream of, 
lucky, 222 ; exchange of, in 
birth ceremonies (Memi), 343 
Dhan -pounding, 198 ; as nanu, 194 ; 
ceremony, 196 ; in social 
gennas, 231-233 ; at Thek- 
rangi genna, 206, 208 
Dhuli, basket for grain, 231 ; 
woman alone allowed to take 
dhan from, 192 

Dies nefasti = penna days, 193 
Differentiation, rapidity of, 9 ; of 
customs and traditions, in 
Angami villages, 10, 11 
Dikhu river, 10, 31, 361, 371, 

DimSpur, 20 
Diphu river, 15 
Disang river, 383 

Diseases, measures to keep off, 99, 
178, 179 

Distilling, in Khonoma, 102 
Diulung, one of Lhota fighting 
stones, 368, 407 
Divination, 244 et eeq. 



t)ivoroe, 168 ; among E. Angamis, 
224, 225 ; among Lhotas, 367 ; 
among Aos, 374 

Dixon, Professor, of Harvard, viii, ix 
Dogs, keeping of, 81, 82 ; flesh 
eaten at gennas, 204 ; flesh not 
eaten by certain clans, 396 ; 
flesh, sometimes unclean, 96 ; 
sacrificed at funeral of tiger 
slayer, 340 (Memi) ; eyes of 
living, as medicine, 100 ; hair 
of, as medicine, 100 ; hair em> 
broidery, 383 ; barking, good 
omen for village site, 258 ; 
oath on, 146 ; birth of, cause of 
genna (Memi), 338 ; how, came 
to live with men, 268 ; hunting, 
81, 82 ; penalty for killing, 81 ; 
share of game, 88, 89 ; names 
of, 89 

Dolls, manufacture and tabu re- 
garding, 67 

Dormitories, for unmarried youths 
and girls, among Aos, 374, 375 ; 
among Memi, 343. See also 

Door-draggmg. See among Gennas 
Doors, of villages, 44, 45 ; of houses, 
54 ; corpse of woman dying in 
childbirth not taken through, 
216 ; back, used by mother 
after childbirth, 215 
Dopule, Chief of Khonoma, 142 
Doshu (January), 197, 411 
Dowry, disposal of property bought 
with, 138 ; custom as to, 139 
Dreams, lucky, 222 ; unlucky, 220, 
222 ; (Memi), 342 ; bad, sacri- 
fice after, 246 ; ghost of ille- 
gitimate child haunts mother 
in, 171, 217 

Dreams, science of, 246 ; meanings 
of some, 247 ; as omens, 168 ; 
significance of, before house- 
building, 52 ; before hunting, 
88 ; consulted before marriage, 
220, 222; (Memi), 343, 344 ; 
consulted as to stone for pulling 
(Memi), 346 ; as affecting name 
of child (Memi), 342 ; as means 
of determining sex of child 
(Memi), 341 

Dream women, 246 ; foretell future, 
186 ; select wood for effigy, 191 
Dragon-flies, as food, 93 
Draughts, game, 101, 102 
Dress, of various tribes, 17, 18 ; 
and ornaments, 22 et seq, ; as 
guide to grouping tribes, 382 ; 

special, of stone -puller (Memi), 
346 ; distinctive, of killer of 
men, leopard and tiger, 169 ; 
on the warpath, 33 ; extending 
among Naked tnbes, 384 ; of 
Aos, 371 ; Lhota, 364 ; of 
Sernas, 356 ; Sangtams, 376 
Drill (tool) (Chugeh), 68, 66, 66 ‘ 
Drink, 97, 98 ; offering of, to 
spirit, 98. iSfee also Zu 
Drinking vessels, 58, see also Leaf 
cups ; cup, disposal of de- 
ceased’s, 185; horn, kept full 
after death, 228 

Drums, war, 354 ; among Aos, 373 ; 
beaten at conclusion of python 
killing genna (Changs), 381 
Dual organisation among Ahoms, 
110; Angamis, 1 10 ei5 aeq, ; Aos, 
372, 373 ; among Lhotas, 366 ; 
among Rengmas, 361 ; among 
Konyak tribes, 386 ; not clear 
among Sernas and Changs, 379 
Dug-outs, made by Lhotas, 366 
Dulo, frame for cotton thread, 60 
Dumb, skill in use of signs, 291 
Dummy birds, 51 

Dunbar, Sir G. D. S., reports 
Padam Abor tale, 291 
Dusun, oath of, 147, n. ; method of 
warding off smallpox, 178 
Dyes and dyeing, 24, 26, 26, 62, 63 
Dzu. See Zu 
Dzudza ~ Zubza, q.v, 
Dzunokehema, v. Viswema 
Dzurawu. spirit presiding over wild 
animals, 182 

Ear-kings, Eastern Angami, Kacha 
Naga, and Ao women’s, 27, 28 ; 
brass, 64 ; not now worn by 
Khonoma women, 286 ; white 
shell, worn by women who have 
not borne a child, 28 ; painted 
on shields, 35 

Ears, taking of, 164 ; ornaments 
worn in, 23, 29 ; piercing 
(Memi), 343 ; crystals worn in 
lobes by Ao women, 371 ; of 
boars split, 81, of dogs cropped, 

Earth eaten in oath taking, 146 

Earthquake, entails genna (Memi), 
338 ; supposed cause of (Memi), 

Earthworms, casts (Zochu-bo) as 
medicine, 100 

East good direction, 414, 415 

454 INDEX 

Eating, method of, 94 ; priority in 
ooimuenoing, 112 
£oli|>se8, beliefs regarding, 411 
Effigies, meaning of, 32, 33 ; over 
graves, 23, 67, (Chakrima), 

227, 47, 48; burial of, 186; 
made of hetho wood, 191 ; 
used in witchcraft, 242 ; of 
Kikakepfuma, of Lesu genna, 

Egg, sacrificed in Kirupfezhe g(3nna, 
234 ; as medicine, 100 ; given 
to avert disease, 179 ; use of, 
in symbolic message, 292 ; in 
Lhota rainmaking, 401 ; break- 
ing of, in omen taking among 
Aos, 374 ; not oaten by 
certain persons among Memi, 

Elder, rights of, as regards eating, 

Elephant, hunting, 86, 87 
Embroideiy, Kweku, 62 
Empeo « Kacha Nagas, grammar, 
etc., 352 

Epidemics, quarantine enforced, 
192 ; building bridge as cure 
for, 246 

Eponyms, many clan names are, 
395 ; among Lhotsks, 366, 367 
Erythrina Eulgens, Hetho, q.v. 
Eschatology, 184; of Lhotas, 367, 

Eshazneu, cloth worn by puller of 
two stones among Lhotas, 

Etusu, cloth worn by stone-puller 
among Lhotas, 365 
Evil Eye, attributed to Kachima, 

Excreta, passmg by cock lucky 
omen, 203 

Excretion, to dream of, unlucky, 52, 

Exogamous group, liaisons within, 
170, 400 

Exogamy, 219 ; Peal’s theory re- 
garding, Sema legend regard- 
ing, 399; inter-Kelhu, 113; 
inter-Thino, 114; decay of, 

114, 116, 116; inter-Putsa, 

115, 116, 117; cause of 

abandonment within Thino, 
128 ; among Aos, 373 ; among 
Lhotas, 366 ; among Bengmas, 

Eye ache, medicine for (Chetho- 
dzu, brine), 99 
Eyes of dog as medicine, 100 

Falling in dream, significance of, 

Family, Appendix V, 398-400 
Family, size of, 65 
Famine, omen of, 244 ; sacrifice of 
python to stop, among Changs, 

Fashion, 23 

Fast, observed by Mohvu of Me- 
krima (Memi), 348 ; by Mohvus 
of Mao villages (Memi), 337, 
338 ; by killer of a , wild 
animal (Memi), 338 ; by suc- 
cessful hunter, 240 ; by owner 
of new house, 53 ; as part of 
genna (Memi), 337, 338 
Father, alone present at birth 
(Memi), 342 ; must be present 
at burial of still -bom child, 
216 ; power over children, 
137 ; restrictions on, after 
birth, 341 ; supports mother of 
illegitimate child, 172 
Father and mother, divisions of 
tribes in dual organisation, 
marked by different terms for, 
110, 111 ; (Lhotas), 366 ; (Aos), 
373 ; Rengmas, 361 
“ Father’s side,’* boys go to, 219 • 
Feasts, to the village, 48 ; after 
marriage, 224 ; of merit (Memi) 
345. Ǥee also Social gennas 
Feet, of rain-maker must not touch 
ground, 237 ; soles of, of 
dead illegitimate child pierced 
with thorns, 171, 217 ; taken 
as trophies, 168 

Fertility, ceremonies to promote, 

Fever, cure for, 100 
Fezherr, 142 ; genealogy of, 130 
“ Fighting eating,” game, 101, 

Fig-tree, legend of, 266 
Fijians, dual system of some, 112 
Finger, cut off in oath taking, 
146, 2 

Fire, brings good luck, 52 ; keeps 
off evil, 99 ; extinction of, 
imlucky, 56 ; method of light- 
ing, on cen^jmonial occasions 
clean, necessary, i.e., lit with 
fire-stiok, 56, 204, 234, (Memi) 
341, 344 ; first, in new house, 
62, 53 ; omens by, 204, 245 ; 
at conclusion of marriage cere- 
monies, 223 ; tabu regarding, 
in harvest field, 76 n. ; legend 
regarding (Memi), 341 



Fire-guard, 66 

Firo-Btick (Segomi), described, 56 ; 
see also Fire ; allowed in har- 
vest field, 15 n, ; buried with 
corpse, 226 

First Reaper (Lidepfu), appoint- 
ment of, duties of, food tabus, 
189 ; collects fees, 205 ; gathers 
first paddy, 200 ; post held by 
woman, 167 ; receives flesh of 
animals killed in the chase, 
240 ; receives share of sacri- 
ficial meat, 99, 194, 234 ; 

among Rengmas, 361 
First Sower (Tsakro), appointment 
of and duties of, food tabus, 
189 ; receives piece of flesh of 
animals killed in the chase, 
240 ; receives share of sacri- 
ficial meat, 99, 194, 234 ; 

collects fees, 205 ; among 
Rengmas, 361 

Fish, dried as food, 93 ; (Kureu) 
not eaten by certain persons 
among Memi, 339 ; brain as 
medicme, 100 ; poisoning con- 
nected with harvest, 159 
Fishing, 89 et seq, ; rights, 90 ; 

Lhotas’ method of, 366 
Flesh, of animals killed, “ kenna ” 
to hunter, 241 ; special cooking 
of, pieces given to village 
officials, 240, 241 ; of wild 
animals, not eaten by certain 
persons, among Memi, 339 ; 
distribution of, to friends of 
deceased, 226 ; sacrificial, must 
all be consumed on day of 
sacrifice, 226, 235, 239 ; cere- 
monial eating of sacrificial, 
235 ; use in magic, 348 ; 
human, averts evil, 1 59 ; hung 
in Morung, 1 60 ; improves 
crops, 161 ; disposal of, of 
slain enemy, 239, 240 ; in- 
quest on (Lhotas), 157 ; oath 
on swearer’s, 146, n. 2 
Flowers, ferns, etc., worn in ears by 
men, 23 ; not worn by women, 

Flute (Lowu), 69 

Flying in dream, significance of, 247 
Folklore, 262-287 ; see also Tradi- 
tions, Legends, Contes, Songs ; 
stories, method of collection 
and grouping, 252, 253 ; as a 
guide to grouping tribes, 382 ; 
of Aos, 376 ; of Changs, 381, 

Folk-tales of Angamis, Rengmas, 
Lhotas and Sernas similar, 18 
Food, 91 et seq, ; cats’ fiesh as, 82, 
83 ; grubs of hornets, 83, 84 ; 
unclean food, defined, 95, 96, 
186 ; none to be left over 
from memorial erection feast, 
346 (Memi) ; of deceased’s 
household on day of death, 
225 ; transference of qualities 
by, 92 ; placed near corpse, 
225 ; placed on grave, 227 ; 
peculiar to the aged, 95 ; 
certain, not eaten by young 
men, 92 ; cooked by women, 
“ kenna ” to head-taker, 239 ; 
restrictions as to cooking 
certain, 92, 241 

Food tabus, 94 et seq, ; whether of 
totemistic origin discussed, 390 
et seq. ; among Sernas, Lhotas 
and Aos, 391, 392, 393, 

395, 396 ; among Aos, 373 ; 
of Chang women, 379 ; of 
certain classes of persons 
(Memi), 339 ; of First 
Sower and Reaper and Pitsu, 

Fowls, 83 ; in marriage price, 220 ; 
use of, in symbolic message, 
292 ; escape of, given after 
birth of first child, unlucky, 
224 ; not eaten by certain 
persons, 232, 339 ; oath on, 
146 ; omens taken with, 220, 
239, 240, 245 ; released in adop- 
tion ceremony, 119; released 
to cure sickness (Memi), 347 ; 
sacrificed, 99 ; sacrifice of, 
after bad dream, 246 ; sacri- 
ficed on grave (Memi), 339 
Freire-Marreco, Miss, viii 
Friend, duties of, after death, 225 
Frogs, aversion to, 91 ; as food, 
93; fiesh sometimes unclean, 
96 ; not eaten by Mongsen 
Aos, 396 

Funeral rites, 226-230 ; of those 
whose bodies cannot be re- 
covered, 229 ; in case of un- 
natural death, 229, (Memi) 340 
Furness, W. H., Ethnography of 
Eastern Assam, 336 

Gadzosi, seed put in mouth of 
corpse at burial, 226 
Gait, quoted, 164 

456 INDEX 

Gambling, 102 ; sufficient cause for 
father revoking gift, 137 
Game, not eaten by performer of 
Mozu genna, 231, n. 3 
Games, 101 et seq, 

Gaonbura, position of, 142, 143 
Gargoyles, to ward off disease, 99 
Garuda, 267 n. 

Gates of villages, 44, 45, 48 
Gatsei, leaf tasted by head-taker, 


Gauntlets, formerly worn by war- 
riors, 31, 32 

Gazetteer of the Kaga Hills, etc., 


Genealogy of Srisahu, 127 
Genna, where equivalent to tabu, 
see under Kenna, list of, 196- 
212 ; see also Mcmi notes, 337 
et seq, ; meaning of term, 3 ; 
importance of, varies locally, 

194, 196, 197 ; acts of worship, 

189 ; includes Penna and Nanu 
days, 193 

Gennas, Classified list of • 

1, Communal, for health, pros- 
perity, and success in war and 
chase : Klokawtimoni for moon 
(Memi), 338 ; Krehemani 
(Memi), 338 ; Pureshi (Memi), 

337 ; Poshmani (Memi), 338 ; 
Sekrengi, 56, n., 81, 189, 196, 

230, 245 ; described, 197, 203- 
206; Supra (Memi), 198 ; Thoni 
(Memi), 198 ; Tok-kaw (Memi), 

337 ; U-klaw, feast of the 
dead, 347 (Memi) ; XJklokao-e, 
for sun (Memi), 338 ; Uramoni 
(Memi), 338; IJratawh (Mek- 
rima),338 ; Zatsu (Kezami), 198 

2. Communal, agricultural: Ad- 
honi (Memi), 201 ; Arringhe 
(Kezami), 201 ; Baulutowe 
(Memi), 200 ; Bingi, 200 ; But- 
sutoh (Kezami), 200 ; Duni 
(Memi), 198 ; Etsunge (Ke- 
zami), 199 ; Gnongi, 196, 208 ; 
described, 198 ; Kehogasi 
(Memi), 338 ; Lideh, 200 ; 
Likwengi, 200 ; Metza (Ke- 
zami), 200 ; Kupra (Memi), 

198 ; Saleni, or Salani, or 
Salegni (Memi), 199, 224, 344 ; 
Tekedeh, described, 200, 201 ; 
Terhengi, 189, 196, 197, 208, 

228 ; described, 201 ; social, 
performed at, 230 ; ThSkrfingi, 

28, 40, 48, 197 ; described, 198, 
205-208 ; ThSwiiukiikwii, de- 

scribed, 199, 201 ; Thezukepu, 
49 ; described, 199, 208 ; 

Tsingemung, Ao tug of war 

f enna, 373; Tsungi, 46, 198, 
28 ; Umigaiyi (Memi), 338 ; 
Utok-kawh (Mel^ima), 338 ; 
Vateh, 199, 200, 201 ; Yekenge 
(Kezami), 198 
3. Communal, occasional: earth- 
quake (Memi) Molu^ashu, 338 ; 
dragging of new village door, 
212 ; war dancing, 211 ; visit- 
ing friendly clans, 211, 212 
4. Communal, hail prevention : 
Chijira-Goshur (Memi), 210 ; 
Engonge, 200 ; Kapani (Memi), 
210 ; Muni or Chiraso (Memi), 
200 ; Tichu, see Titho ; Titho, 
197, 208 ; described, 200, 209 ; 
fixed by Memi, 196 
5. Communal, rain-making and 
stopping, 236-238 ; of non- 
Angamis, 401, 402 ; of Memi, 
347 ; Theza, 236 ; Tikopenna, 

Grennas, Individual and Personal, 
213 et seq, ; essential, birth, 
214 et seq. ; Ale- we (Memi), 
343 ; ear-piercing (Memi), 343 ; 
death, 225 et seq. ; in child- 
birth, 216 ; for unnatural, 229 ; 
for persons lost in jungle, 
182 ; Social Status, 48, 
187, 188, 197, 214, 230- 

233 ; Esham (Lhotas), 365 ; 
Eta (Lhotas), 365 ; Kinoghe, 
230 ; Keteshe, Ketseshe, v. 
stone -pulling ; Kreghaghi, 230 ; 
Lesu (Lishe, Lichu), 52, 201 ; 
described, 231, 232 ; Mozu, 
231, n. 3 ; Pichiprele, 230 ; 
Shisang (Lhotas), 364 ; Sirutso 
(Lhotas), 365 ; stone-pulling 
(Ketseshe, Chisu, (Memi), 
Shoh), 232, 233, (Lhotas) 366, 
(Memi) 211, 346, 406 ; 

Temoza, 231, n. 3 ; Thesa, 
described, 231 ; U-Tuzur, feast 
in connection with stone -pulling 
(Memi), 346 ; Wozhetasu 
(Lhotas), 364 ; Yuhongba, 
Manipuri term, meaning “ To 
open the Zu,” described, 
346 ; Zhatho, Zacbe, v. Satse, 
26, 54, 201, 231 ; essential to 
reaching paradise, 1 86 ; food 
tabus, 396 ; Sickness, 233-236, 
(Memi) 337, 338 ; Deroohu, 
56, n., 234-6 ; Karupfezhe (for 


sickness), 234 ; Nosotsa (for 
sickness), 233, 234 : Hunting, 
240-241 ; Head-taking, 168, 
169, 166, 238-240 

Gtenna stone (Kipuchie), 48 ; earth 
falling entails a “ penna,” 212 ; 
enemy’s flesh laid at foot of, 239 
Ghost, killed, legend, 266 ; of one 
who has died unnaturally, 183 
Ghowki, spears thief, 148, n. 

Girls, ear-piercing, 217 ; head 
shaved, 27, 172 ; in marriage 
ceremonies, 221, 223 ; special 
dormitory for (Memi), 343 ; in 
Thekrangi genna, 206 — 208 
“ Girls’ house,” 49, 169 
Gnamei, Manipur! name for Ten- 
glma, 14 

Gk)at, flesh of he-, prohibited to 
women, 92, 96 ; flesh not eaten 
by certain clans, 341, 396 ; 

keeping of, 84 

Goats’ hair, as shield ornament, 35 
Go-between, in marriage negotia- 
tions, 220, 222 

Godden, Miss G. M., Naga and other 
tribes, etc., 335 

Gods, sex of, discussed, 398 ; 
va^eness of belief in, 177 ; 
varieties of, 178. Terhoma 
and Spirits 
Golaghat, 11, 18 

Gold, not valued by Angamis, 275, 
n, 2 

Golden Bough, 199, w. 

<jk)ngs, as currency, 72 
Gourds, 77 ; (Pfurhe), as medi- 
cine, 100 ; as vessels, 67, 68 ; 
as food, 93 

Grain, measure, 231, 77 . 2 ; to fly at 
Chusenu, 252 

Grange, Lt. G. R., Narrative of an 
Expedition into the Naga 
Hills, etc., 334 

Grass, door touched with, in door- 
dragging genna, 212 
Grass eaten m oath taking, 146 
Grasshoppers, as food. 93 
Grave, digging of, 226 ; digging of, 
filling in of, orientation of 
(Memi), 339 ; of Kemovo, very 
sacred, 228 ; orientation of, 
228, 229 ; prowess in love, war 
and chase recorded on, 166 ; 
rain-making ceremony at, 237 ; 

S to, 228 ; removal of,228 
r, as sacrificer, 99 ; in 
i sacrifice (Change), 381 
Graves, 47, 48 


Grierson, Sir G., Linguistic Survey 
^ of India, ix, 8, 336 
Groin, cure for swollen, 100 
Guests, 97 ; entertainment of, 
among Aos, 373, 374 
Guns, fired at funeral, 227 ; num- 
bers and source of supply, 84 
Gurdon, Colonel, viii, 178 
Gynecomatism, cases of, 216, 217 

Hagiytjng, subdivision of Chang 
clan, 380 

Haha — Konyak, q.v., 384 
Hail, genna to keep off, see also 
Titho, 210 

Haimung, traditional Lhota site, 362 
Hair, method of cutting, 22 ; 
dressing, different stylos of, 
22 ; styles of married and un- 
married women’s, 27 ; women, 
for ceremonies, 28 ; of Lhotas, 
Sernas, Aos, Sangtams, Change, 
and Yachumi all similar, 382 ; 
of Konyalts, 384 ; Konyak 
tribes and Angamis similar, 
386 ; dressing, Cbongli women’s 
style, 371, 372 ; consequences 
of enemy taking, 166 ; as sub- 
stitute for head, 166 ; affixed 
to effigy before burial, 191 , 229 ; 
human, ornament of veteran’s 
spears, 34 ; on veteran’s shield, 
35 ; value of, for warriors* 
msigpia, 164 ; of dog as 
medicine, 100 ; offered to 
spirit of python, 166, n. ; un- 
done in taking oath, 146 ; 
“ kenna ” as to cutting hair by 
stone-puller, 233 
Hammers, blacksmiths’, 63 
Hands, rinsed before eating, 96 ; 

taken as trophies, 158 
Hangwang, Chang clan, 379 
Harvest, 75, 76 ; connected with 
fish poisonings, 169 ; opening 
genna, 200 ; home genna, 201 ; 
graves not repaired during rice, 
228, n. 

Hat, 26 

Hawks as food, 91 ; flesh prohibited 
to Jotsoma women, 94 
Head, great value attached to, 166 ; 
kenna for woman to carry, 
through village gate, 256 ; of 
enemy, disposal of, 162, 239 ; 
buried face downwards, 240 ; 
disposal of, as aid to classi- 
fication of tribes, 353 ; treati 

45 « 


ment of, after burial by Cliangs, 

Headache, medicine for, 99 
Head -bands, 65 

Head-dress, ceremonial, of men, 29 
Head-hmiting, 156-167 ; causes of, 
157, 158; in Borneo, 156 
Head-taker, w. Veteran 
Head -takers, special ornaments and 
dress of, 29, 30, 32 ; tattooed 
among Konyak tribes, 385 
Head-taking, 238-240 ; brings no 
advantage in other world, 166 ; 
women in relation to, 399 ; 
genna held in order to cause 
death of person, 242 ; records 
of, on grave, 166 
Heart, pains m, cure, 99 
Hearth, in housebuilding ceremony, 
52 ; construction of, after 
marriage, 223, (Memi) 344 ; 
special, for parents, after a 
birth, 342 ; meals not allowed 
on, at Thewuukukwu, 199, 
200 ; special, made, 200 ; re- 
newal of, after a death (Memi), 

Hen, given to mother after birth of 
first child, if female, 224 ; 
mother fed on flesh of hens 
after birth of child, 214 ; to 
dream of, foretells birth of a 
girl (Memi), 341 ; mother eats, 
after birth of girl (Memi), 342 
Henima, 11, 13 

Henry, Mr. O., quoted regarding 
Headhunters, 157, n. 1 
Hermaphrodite, 216, n. 2 
Hescmiu, father of Kutlioh, 117 ; 

in Srisallm’s genealogy, 127 
Hetho, effigy made of, buried, 229 ; 

kenna to burn, 190, 191 
Hill of the Dead, 186, n. 2 
Hinn, special food for door-dragging 
genna, 213 
Ho-ang-ho, 8 

Hodson, T. C., The Naga Tribes of 
Manipur, 334 ; on tabus among 
Meitheis, 396 ; on totemism 
among Nagas, 397 ; remarks 
on war among Nagas, 152 ; on 
value of women’s heads, 163 
Hoe (keju) iron, 78 ; (saro) bam- 
boo, 78, 79 ; Yachumi, 377 ; 
given as Mengu, 138, 344 
Hoes, as currency, 71 ; given to 
bride’s mother, 222 ; in mar- 
riage ceremonies (Memi), 344; 
presented to bride’s friends, 224 

Homicide, 183 ; punishment for, 149 
Honesty, Angamis* views on, 38 
Horn, mithan and bu£Ealo-^rink- 
ing cups, 58 ; filled after 
death, 185; placed near corpse, 
225 ; method of working, 67 ; 
mithan, painted on shields, 
35 ; trumpet of buffalo, 68 ; 
used in necklaces, 23 
Hombill, Great, feathers of, special 
mark of head -taker, 29, 32 ; 
symbol of valour, 66 ; insignia 
of warrior, 191 ; kenna as to 
wearing, 203 ; snare for, 87 ; 
traditional ancestor of certain 
clans, 391 , 393 ; emblem of 
bravery, 392 ; flesh tabued, 
391, 392, 396 

Hornet, grubs as food, 93 ; (Kwidi), 
capture and keeping of, 83, 84 
Homs, carried at Thekrangi gonna, 
206 ; worn by veterans, 29 ; 
significance of, 29, 33 
House, 50 et seq. ; Aos, described, 
372 ; building of, for man 
adopted, 119; owner, duties in 
Derochu genna, 234, 235 ; 

rules regarding father and son 
sharing, 55, n. ; vacated after 
accidental death among Lhotas, 

Household, kenna ” after a birth, 

Houses, arrangement of, 46 ; 
Lhota, Ao, 363 ; of Changs, 
378 ; orientation of, 414-416, 

Huluk, legend regarding (Changs), 
382 ; connection with Wot- 
* sami and Kudamji, 395 ; flesh 
not eaten by Wotsami, 393, 
396 ; head put in spring to 
bring rain (Serna, Lhotas), 401, 

Hunter, prohibition regarding eat- 
ing flesh of animals he kills, 
241 ; faith in dreams by, 246 
Hunting, 84 et seq. ; rights, 89 ; 
genna, 240, 241 ; dogs, use of, 
85, 86 

Husband and wife, resemblance of 
Angami and Sema words for, 
discussed, 400 

Hredi, special cloth of Pitsu, 189 
Hrepfuma, or Hrepvoma, Kohima 
clan, origin of, 115, 256, 257; 
fetch Kerutsa’s corpse, 238 
Hurukhe, only Angami, polygamist, 

INDEX 459 

Hurutsuma, Kohima clan, origin of, 
115, 256, 257 ; fetch Kerutsa’s 
corpse, 238 

Huthu, owl, applied to one who says 
his own name, 219 

looROT, similarity of terrace culti« 
vation, 8 

Ikhuichi, boys’ dormitory (Momi), 

I-kraW"ji, third day of tl-klaw 
genna (Memi), 347 
Illegitimacy, 171, 172 
Illegitimate ohildi*en, delivery and 
disposal of, bring ill luck on 
village, 217 ; (Memi) parents 
made to marry, if marriage- 
able, or girl banished, 344 
Iloiohi, girls’ dormitory (Memi), 343 
Implements, agricultural, 78, 79 ; 
blacksmiths’, 63 ; carpenters’, 

Incest, within prohibited degrees, 
result of (Memi), 345 ; between 
immarried, 169, 170, 400 
Indigo, 24, 62 

Indo - Chinese race, traditional 
cradle of, 8 

Infanticide, 171, 172, 217 ; practice 
of, precludes ignorance of laws 
of procreation, 400 
Infant mortality, 55 
Infozna, Rengma village, 164 
Inheritance, 135 et seq. 

Insects as food, 93 ; certain, tabued 
to children, 95 

Inseni-Kotsenu, Northern Rengma, 
linguistic group, 361 
Insignia, of warrior, 164 ; unwar- 
ranted assumption of, 165 ; of 
performers of social gennas, 
231-233 ; successful warrior, 
hombill’s feathers, 191 ; of 
genna performers, head-takers 
and warriors, among Lhotas, 
365 ; of Serna warrior, of head- 
taker, 357 ; among Konyak 
tribes, 385; of wives of per- 
formers of social gennas, 28, 
360 ; sale of right to wear, by 
Ao tataVi 372 

Instruments, musical, 68 et seq. 
Iron, whence obtained, 63 ; as 
currency, 71 ; bride must tread 
on, entering groom’s house, 
221 , 71 , 

Irrigation, see Terrace cultivation* 
possible origin of, 7, 8 
Isolation, of mother after child- 
birth, 214 
Itch, cure for, 100 
Ivory, method of working, 67 ; see 

Izumontsurre, eponymous Lhota 
group, 366 

Jaintiapur, 20 

J^khama, famed for tall men, 9 ; 

human saciifice in, 161 
Japvo, moimtain, 6, 13 ; traditional 
place of origin of Sernas, 7, 371 ; 
Khonoma raiders snowed up on, 
Jars, 57 

“ Jaseja,” title, 25 
Jews’ harp, 69 

“Jhums,’^ 46, 72, 74, 76, 77, 140, 
141 ; terraces for, 76, 77 ; 
among Reiigmas, 361 ; human 
sacrifice at firing, 162 
Jiliinasa, Memi, equivalent of 
Ukepenopfu, q.v., 348 
Job’s tears, “ Sikre,” 77, 93 ; seeds 
of, in ornaments, 28 -29 
Jdtsorna, village in Khonoma group, 
15, 43, 4 5 ; Semoma clan in, 
117 ; aid Rengmas, 153 ; allied 
to Khonoma in fight with 
Maram, 255 ; trade in anvil 
stones, 63 ; gennas in, 1 99, 200 ; 
Thezukepu genna in, 208 ; 
Titho genna in, 209 ; First 
Sower in, 189 ; women may not 
eat hawks’ flesh, 94 ; boys 
leave mothers at Sekrengi, 204 
Journal of the Anthropological In- 
stitute, 178, n. 

Jumping, Sitse, high jump, 102 ; 
Mabeh, jump, 102 ; Chatse, 
long jump, 103 ; Keva, run- 
ning jump, 103 

Jute (gakeh), 77 ; jute cloths, 62 

Kabuis, related to Kacha Nagas, 
16, 352 ; included in Southern 
Nagas, 351 

K^ibvdma Piphlma, village of Cha- 
kr5ma group, 15 



Kacha Nagas, from Angami stock, 
16 ; related to Kabuis, 16 ; 
habitat, 5 ; legends of origin, 
6 ; included in Southern Nagas, 
351 ; description, 352 ; domi- 
nated by Angamis, 14, 16, 156 ; 
summon Kukis to their aid, 14 ; 
birth customs, 214, n. 1 and 
n. 4; infanticide, 172 ; bride’s 
entry into groom’s house, 221, 
w . ; salt making, 70 ; prophecy 
as to expulsion of British, 252 
Kachans, relations with Nagas, 13 
Kachima, division of Memi, 112 
Kachu, 77 ; cause of red, making 
men smart, legend, 282 
Kaghamo, ancestor of Chesholimi 
and Ohishilimi clans, 393, 395 
Kakhos enlisted by Ahom Kings, 13 
Kalyo-Kengyu, descriptive note, 
meaning of name, habitat, 
noted for iron work called by 
Change Aoshed, by Sernas 
Tulcjemmi, on Burma side, 
Para, 383 ; habitat, 6 ; cane 
legginfirs worn by, 31 ; use 
crossbows, 37 ; tribe south of 
Patkoi range, 351 
Kana, Memi month (April), 347 
Kanching gives and receives slaves 
to make peace, 161 
Kang, carrying basket, at funeral, 
225, 227 

Kangcho, Chang clan, 380, 381 
Karami, Kalyo-Kengyu village, 376 
Karela, 93 

Kasakre, lead raid, 161, n. 1 
Katetokhu, memorial monoliths 
(Memi), 345 

Kechibu, general appellation of 
male children, 218, n, 1 
Kechi-ke-rho, spirits in stones, 183 
Keehino, general appellation of 
female children, 218, w. 1 
Kedi, Angami for King, 274, n. 1 
Kedohoh war dance, 104 
Kedu, rice mortar, 53 
Kdkiima, braves attack sej)oy8, 12 ; 
challenges Capt. Beid, defeats 
Khonoma, 152, 163 
Kelhu, 111, n. 5, 142; definition 
of, 113, 114; patrilineal, pat- 
ronymic, 117 

Keli, song sung by two men and 
two women, 283 

“ K5m6v5,” 19 ; house of, 48, 61 ; 
distinguished from Pohuma, 
chief, 142, n. 2 ; title earned by 
performer of Chisu genna, 233 ; 

duty in door-dragging genna, 
212, 213 ; in Thekrangi genna, 
206 ; of clan, 206, n. ; position 
and duties described, 186-188 ; 

not eat game, 96 ; pro- 
claims penna, 193 ; proclaims 
war dancing genna, 21 1 ; pro- 
nounces curse of clan, 241 ; 
present at house-building cere- 
monies, 62 ; receives flesh of 
animals sacrificed, 99, 194 ; 

Derochu genna, 234 ; receives 
piece jof*< flesh of animals killed 
in chase, 240 ; sanctity of 
grave of, 228 ; of Semoma 
clan, 128 

Kenima, origin of name, 44 
Kenna, 197, 198, 199, 200, 203, 204, 
216, 217, 220, 221, 246, 

(Memi) 348 ; meaning of, 3, 
190, 191, 192 ; evasion of, 232 ; 
for rain -maker, 237 ; before 
taking bees’ nests, 230 ; for 
head-taking, 239 ; after birth, 
214 ; in Derochu genna, 235 ; 
observation of, may cause 
death, 241 ; regarding burning 
certain woods, 191, 192 ; to 
waste cheroot ends, 190; re- 
garding First Reaper and First 
Sower and Pitsu, 1 89 ; regard- 
ing wearing of hombill’s 
feathers, 191 ; rfigarding men 
handling petticoats worn by 
women, 191 ; regarding cutting 
stubble, 192 ; regarding taking 
dban out of “ duli,” 192 ; as 
prohibition of intercourse, 192, 
194 ; compared with penna, 
192, 193, with Nanu, 194 ; in 
social gennas, 231-233 ; to 
sing Sheli, in village, 283, 287 ; 
to sell cats, 82 

Kennedy, Colonel, notes on Memi 
marriage rites, 222, 223 
Keno (February), 411 
Kenya, 213 

Kepenopfu, discussed, 180-182 : 
birth spirit, 180 ; sex discussed, 
181 ; abodes of, 166, 181 ; 
giver of stone axe, 181, 184 ; 
Bfe with, 1 84 ; qualification for 
life with, 186 

Kepepfuma, division of Angamis, 

no, 111, 112 

Kepepoma, see Kepezoma 
Kepepvuma, see Kepepfuma 
Kepezoma, division of Angamis, 
no, in, 112, 366 


Kepi, mythical ancestor of Nagas 
(Menu), 348 et aeq, 

Kepuchi, genna stone, 406, q.v. 
Kera, month, 197, 198 
Kerau (April), 411 
Kerugr^a, thief, 148 
Kerutsa, tale regarding, and rain- 
making, 237, 238 
Keshur = Kezakenoma, q.v. 
Ketenenyu, exogamous division of 
Bengmas, 361 
Kethi, adze, 66 

Kethi-thedi, 98, 252 ; charm to 
avert evil, 79 ; to keep ofE evil 
spirits, 63, 79 ; idea under- 
lying use of, 178 
Ketseshe, see Stone -pulling 
Ketsorr, stone of, 286 
Ketsu (May). 197, 411 
Ketsu, trumpet, 68 
K6whlma, correct name for Kohima, 
q.v., 11, n. 

Krzabama, 7 ; principal Kezami 
village, 15 ; famed for 
** beauty ” of its women, 9 ; 
and infanticide, 171 ; tradition 
of origin, 258 

Kezakenoma, 115 ; Angami villages 
trace origin to, 113; Cherama 
come from, 115; in Memi story 
of Mekrima Durbar, 360 ; 
place of origin, of An^amis, 
258 ; principal Kezami village, 

Kezakenoma stone, 19, 253, 263, 
n. 1, 407 ; legend of dispersion 
from, as aid to classification 
of tribes, 353 ; legend of, known 
to Rengmas, 362 ; legend not 
known by Aos, 376 
Kezami, 19 ; Angami group, 365 ; 
appellation among, 111 ; vil- 
lages, 15 ; birth customs of, 
214, 71. 1 ; gennas, 198, 199, 
200 ; house-building ceremonies 
among, 52 ; included in 
“ Western Naga ” language 
group, 294 ; language, 315-> 
317 ; comparative list, 328- 
329 ; language, classification 
of, 8, 9 ; Mengu custom in, 
137 ; special cloths, 26 ; meeua- 
ing of lowries on kilts, 25; 
style of hairdressing, 22 ; rain- 
making:, 238 ; widow’s inheri- 
tance in, 136 ; yipe custom, 

Kezi (Maroh), 411, 197 

Khasis, smularity of belief as to 


decrease in size of men, 252 ; 
similarity of egg-breaking 
omen, to Ao custom, 374 ; re- 
garding stone-pulling, 233 
Khoirao Nagas, atfinity to Angamis 
and Memi, 16 
Khokhe, fish, 100 

ELhonoma, 12, 15 ; typical Angami 
village, its prestige, 11 ; origin 
of name, 393 ; capture of, oy 
British, 252 ; clans in, 128 ; 
constitution of some clans in, 
117 : custom as to boys leaving 
mothers, 204 ; dominates 
Kacha Nagas, 14, 16, 156; 

dominates Zemi, 352 ; defeated 
by Kekrima, 162, 163 ; ex- 
pelled from village site, 231 ; 
famed for tall men, 9^; long- 
faced men of, 10 ; gambling, 

102 ; physical type of, 20 ; 
cloths used by, 25 ; exogamy 
in, 113 ; gennas in, 196, 211 ; 
head-taking genna in, 239 ; 
memorial stones in, 136 ; 
names of social gennas in, 230 
ei aeq. ; No Lesu genna, 201. 
231 ; ram -stopping genna, 236 ; 
rule of descent in, 187 ; 
stone-pulling in, 233, n. 2; 
suzerainty over Kacha Nagas. 
14, 16 ; traditional chiefs of, 
142 ; tradition of fight with 
Maram, 254 ; trade in beads 
and shells, 67 ; unmarried 
man’s cloth, 26 ; varieties of 
rice cultivated, 76, 77 ; zuharo, 
97 ; women’s style of hair- 
dressing, 27 ; house-building 
ceremonies, 62 

Khdro, site of ancient iron foundry, 

Khuoruho, eaten at head-taking 
genna, 239 

Kdiuzama, pot-making at, 57 
“ Kichuki ’* Morung, 49 
Kicking, game, Mhamesu, Pili, 


Kidima, noted for litigiousness, 
9, 10 

Kidong, Ao for clan, 373 
Kidzu Tsohpru, song, 284 
Kiekho, village, 96 
Kigwema, origin of name, 43 ; 
village in Khonoma group, 15 ; 
aids Puchama, 12 ; human 
sacrifice in, 160 ; man tortured 
by Rekro-Kezama, 165 ; Pfero- 
noma, come from, 115 

462 INDEX 

Kihupfuma, persons possessed of 
evil infiuenoe, 243, 244 
Kika, “ honse-horns,*’ 51, 232 
Kika-Kepfuma, may not eat 
chickens, 96 ; performer of 
I«esu genna, 232 ; importance 
of, in house-building ceremony, 
52, 63 

Kikong, clan food tabu, 391 
Kiloh, front room, 63 
Kilt, 17, 18; ornamentation of, 24 
“ Kindred,” see Putsa ; in marriage 
ceremonies, 220, 221 ; liaisons 
within, prohibited, 170 ; be- 
coming the exogamous unit, 
1 70 ; mourning worn by, 203 ; 
post-funeral feast of, 227 ; in 
connection with cursing, 242 
King, belief in return of, to expel 
British, 262 

Kinimi, origin of, and food tabus of, 

Kinutse, third room, 54 
Kipuohie, genna stone, 212, g.v. 
KirufSma, village in Khonoma 
group, 15 ; cloth industry in, 25 
Kiruse Prutsu, rain-making families,